POW/MIA Tables of Honors
ALMIGHTY GOD, FATHER OF ALL MANKIND AND JUDGE OVER NATIONS, WE PRAY THEE TO GUIDE OUR WORK IN THIS MEETING AND IN ALL OUR DAYS AHEAD.
SEND THY PEACE TO OUR NATION AND TO ALL NATIONS. HASTEN THE FULFILLMENT OF THY PROMISE OF PEACE THAT SHALL HAVE NO END.
WE PRAY FOR THOSE WHO SERVE THE PEOPLE AND GUARD THE PUBLIC WELFARE THAT BY THY BLESSING THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO DISCHARGE THEIR DUTIES HONESTLY AND WELL.
WE PRAY FOR OUR COMRADS THAT BY THY HELP THEY MAY OBSERVE THE STRICTEST JUSTICE. KEEP ALIGHT THE FIRES OF FREEDOM, STRIVE EARNESTLY FOR THE SPIRIT OF DEMOCRACY AND PRESERVE UNTARNISHED OUR LOYALTY TO OUR COUNTRY AND TO THEE.
FINALLY, O GOD OF MERCY, WE ASK THY BLESSING AND COMFORT FOR THOSE COMRADES WHO ARE SUFFERING MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES. CHEER THEM AND BRING THEM THE BLESSINGS OF HEALTH AND HAPPINESS.
You see before you an empty table, set for service but vacant. This table is symbolic of our fallen comrades-in-arms and those whose fate is still unknown.
It is set with eight chairs – one each for the members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, as well as for Fire Fighters, Police Officers and Civilians.
The table is round, symbolizing our everlasting concern for those still missing. REMEMBER.
The table cloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their intentions in responding to their country’s call to arms. REMEMBER.
The single rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades-in-arms who keep the faith awaiting their return. REMEMBER.
The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands, bearing witness to their unyielding demand for a proper accounting of our missing. REMEMBER.
A slice of lemon is on the bread plate, symbolic of their bitter fate. REMEMBER.
There is salt upon the bread plate, symbolic of the family’s tears as they wait. REMEMBER.
The glass is inverted, for they cannot toast with us this night. REMEMBER.
The chairs – the chairs are empty – they are not here. REMEMBER.
REMEMBER – all of you served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid, and relied upon them, for surely, they have not forsaken you.
POW/MIA Links: http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/links.htm
CURRENT STATS ON ALL WARS: http://www.aiipowmia.com/stats.html
“Some 88,000 U.S. service members are listed as missing from World War II, and JPAC conducts searches throughout the world to find them”
From the link below: “Library of Congress (This database contains 145,965 record on Vietnam-era POW/MIA) In December 1991, Congress enacted Public Law 102-190, commonly referred to as the McCain Bill. The statute requires the Secretary of Defense to make available to the public–in a “library like setting”–all information relating to the treatment, location, and/or condition (T-L-C) of United States personnel who are unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War. The facility chosen to receive this information was the Library of Congress (LoC). The Federal Research Division (FRD) created the POWMIA Database, the on-line index to those documents. The microfilmed documents themselves are available at the Library of Congress or borrowed through local libraries.” This bill became a law in 1994–the files of the prisoners of war or missing in action are to be reviewed every three years-whether or not any new information has been received/added.
“What do I want?–I want my country to love me as much as I love her.”
American War and Military Operations: http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/american%20war%20casualty.htm
THE PRISONER OF WAR ISSUE
Every year, by proclamation, the President of the United States declares April 9th as “National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day.” This date honors those that CAME HOME. In the past decade, an average of TWELVE returnees have died EACH DAY.
|National POW/MIA Recognition Day is by law, the 3rd Friday in September every year. This date honors those men and women still held in enemy hands or buried on foreign soil.|
|On August 10, 1990, the Congress passed a bill recognizing the black and white, POW/MIA flag as “the symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fate of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia…” In 1997, bills passed the House and Senate mandating the POW/MIA flag be flown on specific holidays. The 1998 Defense Authorization act noted that the flag MUST be flown on: Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, POW/MIA Recognition Day.In 1998, the Veterans Administration noted the flag will fly EVERY day at their facilities. http://www.pownetwork.org/statistics.htm
ALL POW-MIA STATISTICS ALL WARS: http://www.aiipowmia.com/lnx.html
Septemeber 19, 2007: http://nampows.org/fredhalyandersonville.htm
POW/MIA Advocates: http://www.vvvc.org/vvvc/powmia.htm
Prayer for Prisoners of War and Missing in Action:
Almighty Father Who suffers in the affliction of your children, we call upon You now from the depths of our anxiety and great concern for our countrymen and loved ones who have fallen into the hands of the Nations foes, in the face of the evils that these brave men endure and before the grim burdens they are forced to bear, give them courage and hope, and a never failing confidence in You.
But most of all, 0 God, we ask that the day will soon come when we can all celebrate their release and safe return to their homes and kindred.
Give to all of us who wait and hope in the face of every disappointment the will to persevere in the cause of peace and the wisdom to conquer hate with love and every doubt with a renewed faith in You. Amen.
Admiral James Stockdale:
Stockdale wound up in Hoa Lo Prison, the infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” where he spent the next seven years as the highest ranking naval officer and leader of American resistance against Vietnamese attempts to use prisoners for propaganda purposes. Despite being kept in solitary confinement for four years, in leg irons for two years, physically tortured more than 15 times, denied medical care and malnourished, Stockdale organized a system of communication and developed a cohesive set of rules governing prisoner behavior. Codified in the acronym BACK U.S. (Unity over Self), these rules gave prisoners a sense of hope and empowerment. Many of the prisoners credited these rules as giving them the strength to endure their lengthy ordeal. Drawing largely from principles of stoic philosophy, notably Epictetus’ The Enchiridion, Stockdale’s courage and decisive leadership was an inspiration to POWs.