Friday, Sept. 16 marked National POW/MIA Remembrance Day. To honor fellow soldiers who are prisoners of war or missing in action, members of the Randall-Collins Post 3108 of Belfast set up a “Table for One” at Troy Howard Middle School to help teach students about the significance of honoring these soldiers.

Many students remarked that they did not know what POW/MIA represented and the veterans were glad to have the opportunity to share its meaning and to honor and preserve the memory of those soldiers.

Most military facilities have a “Table for One” at the head of their dining facility; the veterans set theirs up across from the entrance to the school cafeteria with the following information:

The POW/MIA Table

You may notice this small table here in a place of honor. It is set for one.

This table is our way of symbolizing that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly call POW’s or MIA’s — we call them brothers.

They are unable to be with us this evening and so we remember them.

This table set for one is small; it symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors.

The table cloth is white; it symbolizes the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.

The single rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades in arms who keep faith awaiting their return.

The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting for our missing.

A slice of lemon is on the bread plate, to remind us of their bitter fate.

There is salt upon the bread plate, symbolic of the family’s tears as they wait.

The glass is inverted, they cannot toast with us tonight.

The chair is empty, they are not here.

Remember, all of you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended on their might and aid, and relied on them — for surely, they have not forsaken you.