MC1: "Tonight we have some honored guests who can not be with us. so we remember them in in this way."
(Three raps of the gavel)
All rise. "Gentlemen, please uncover "
(If not already uncovered)
"Please direct your attention to the place setting in front of the podium, as a physical symbol of the thousands of American POW/MIAs still unaccounted for from all foreign conflicts. Accordingly at this time the Sgt-at-Arms will advance to light the candle "
(The Sgt-at-Arms slowly advances toward the table setting where he will pause and wait for the que, "As the Sgt-at-Arms lights the candle" given by the MC.)
MC1: "A reminder for us all to spare no effort to secure the release of any American prisoners from captivity, the repatriation of the remains of those who died bravely in defense of liberty, and a full accounting of those missing in action. As the Sgt-at-Arms lights the candle I will explain the symbolism of the POW/MIA Place Setting."
(The Sgt-at-Arms slowly executes the lighting of the candle, comes to attention, turns to face the POW/MIA chair and executes slow salute. (NOTE.- Slow salute will be timed to end as the MC says "The chair.")
MC2: "The table"
MC1: "The table is small, symbolizing the helplessness of one person. alone against his oppressors."
MC2: "The cloth."
MC1: "The table cloth is white for the purity of their intentions in responding to their Country's call to arms.
MC2: "The bread plate."
MC1: "A slice of lemon is on the bread plate to reinind us of their bitter fate, and there is salt, symbolic of the tears shed by those who wait."
MC2: "The rose."
MC1: "The single red rose in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones who have kept faith, awaiting the return of our POW/MIAs"
MC2: "The ribbon."
MC1: "The yellow ribbon, tied so prominently around the vase, represents the yellow ribbon worn upon the lapels and breasts of thousands who bear witness to our Nations' unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our POW/MIAs."
MC2: "The Candle."
MC1: "The candle is the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, out of the hands of their oppressors and into the arms of a grateful Nation."
MC2: "The glass."
MC1: "The glass is inverted, for they can not toast with us tonight."
MC2: "The chair."
MC1: "The chair is empty, for they are not here."
(The Sgt-at-Arms turns to face the candle.)
MC1: "Remember, we all called them comrades, brothers, sisters and friends. Do not let them be forgotten, for surely they have not forgotten us. We will now pause for a moment of silence in honor of our Prisoners of War and Missing in Action."
(Sgt-at-Arms observes moment of silence, executes about face and returns to his station.)
(NOTE: - MC1 and MC2 may be combined for one speaker or expanded up to include MC9 to facilitate wider participation by the membership. The POW/MIA chair cover, or flag must be in place prior to beginning Place Setting ceremony.)
LIST OF ITEMS FOR CEREMONY
White metal folding chair~~~ Small table
White table cloth~~~~~~~~ Bud vase
White candle ~~~~~~~~~Candle holder
Red rose (fresh if possible)~~~~ Yellow ribbon
POW/MIA chair cover (or Flag)~~~~~~` Wine glass
Dinner plate~~~~~ Cup and saucer
Bread/salad plate ~~~~~Flatware
Lemon wedge~~~~~~ Salt
A POW'S PRAYER
Written By Henry R. Tavares 2004
God, please grant me
The courage and endurance
To persevere at the hands
Of my enemies.
Please endow me with the presence
Of mind to always remember
Who and what I am.
Gift me with the needed fortitude
To resist all torture and deprivation
Be it mental or physical.
And most of all dear lord
Grant unto me the power and ability
To keep my soul and resolve,
American, to the core.
Henry Tavares is the husband of Brenda Morgan Tavares, whose uncle, Melvin Morgan, was promoted to Glory while a POW with the Tiger Survivors group in North Korea.
Henry & Brenda are currently seeking the Purple Heart for POW's that died while in captivity. Please contact them to see how you can help! Henry & Brenda Morgan Tavares: email@example.com