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POW MIA Day 18 Sep 2009

Updated on September 8, 2011

Friday, 18 September 2009 is this years POW/MIA Recognition Day. The day was first commemorated in 1979 but on the 18th of July, it was moved in 1986 to the third Friday in September so as not to conflict with other War recognition days or holidays commemorating Veterans or the fallen. Each year the President of the United States issues a proclamation designating the day as one of National Recognition and for the safe return of all POW’s and those Missing in Action.

Throughout the military on this day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Independence Day the table is set and a ceremony held at the Dining Facility (DFAC). In many Veterans Organizations the Missing Man Table is set at every meeting and Public Ceremonies held on this day.

Current POW Afghanistan – PFC Bowe Bergdahl, 501st Inf Reg

Current MIA Iraq 0

CurrentMIAGulf War 0

Cold War - 125

Current MIA Viet Nam - 1731

Missing Man Table

The table is round -- to show our everlasting concern for our missing men.

The tablecloth is white -- symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.

The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and the loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers.

The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing.

A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.

A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.

The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.

The glass is inverted -- to symbolize their inability to share this evening's [morning's/day's] toast.

The chairs are empty -- they are missing.

This ceremony was designed by

Once the symbolism is explained the host proposes a toast to our missing comrades.

Did you know? Federal law requires the POW/MIA flag to be flown on the following days:

  • Armed Forces Day, May 16
  • Memorial Day, May 25
  • Flag Day, June 14
  • Independence Day, July 4
  • POW/MIA Day, 3rd Friday of September
  • Veterans Day, Nov. 11

You will also notice the POW/MIA flag flown at all US Post office buildings, Veterans Administration, military memorial facilities, and many U.S. government buildings.


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    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      Thank you so much for explaining the ceremony. So many don't even know about it, much less understand it's significance. We cannot forget until they all come home ! Voted up!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Nice hub paying tribute to those missing in action.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Patty Thanks so much for stopping by and remembering as well. God Bless

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      A sousaphone player from high school band went to Viet Nam immediately on graduation and died during his first tour. A drummer served 3 tours in the US Marines over there and came home in one piece. We lost many people in that conflict and need to remember.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Reconciled Heart Thanks for your comment and blessing. His Blessing back to ya.

      AIM Thanks for your prayer. God Bless. Hope all is well with you and yours..

    • Army Infantry Mom profile image

      Army Infantry Mom 8 years ago

      I love your hub,..The one's missing in action should never be forgotten, and writing hubs like this keep it on the front burner so to speak. I pray for the MIA's and their family and friends who are missing them.

    • profile image

      reconciled heart 8 years ago

      I love the symbolism of the missing man table. Very moving hub. Thank you for posting; God bless.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Ken Thanks fore stopping by, It is a very moving ceremony particularly when you personally know some who have not yet come home.

      Thanks Skye2day appreciate the prayer and your kind words..

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Hi jammer1, This hub sent chills on my spine. I am in tears. I am so grateful and sad at the same time. Courageous men have served us,other brave men men are POW. I pray for each and every one of them and their beloved family's. I put my hand on the screen and asked our Lord to return these men home,very soon.

      May God Bless you richly, Your friend, Hugs.

      Thank you for visiting my hubs. I will be back soon.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks for this great hub. Full of valuable information. I did not know anything at all about the Missing Man Table. How profound & touching a ceremony that must be.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      PFC Bowe Bergdahl, 501st Inf Reg I pray for you. God Bless and give you strength in your hour of need and his comfort to your family.