Monday, November 11, 2013

0 America's White Table in Honor of Veteran's Day

America's White Table in Honor of Veteran's Day brought to you by Life After Empty Nest.

I'm proud to be an American.  

I come from a family of Veterans.  Grandfathers, Uncles and Cousins have had a place in America's Military history.

My Father served in World War II, and Korea.  My husband served as a Navy Diver during the Gulf War.  

It is an honor to work at a school where over 90% of the children are military dependents.   There are many times my eyes well up working with this population;  Consoling a child whose parent just left for an 18 month deployment, watching a returning parent surprise their child at school and our Veteran's Day Celebration, to name just a few.  

America's White Table

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585362166?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1585362166&linkCode=xm2&tag=lifaftempnes-20
source

I must admit, the first time I entered the mess hall with my husband, I didn't pay much attention to the small, white table in the corner.  But on one occasion the tilted chair made me ask "Who gets to sit at that special table" My husband looked surprised and saddened by my question as he answered, "Hopefully some of the POWs and MIAs when we get them home...That is the table for our missing brothers" 

The symbol of the White Table stuck in my mind but the book that really explained it, brought me to tears. Have you ever read America's White Table by Margot Theis Raven? Although a children's book, I highly recommend it for adults as well.  It is the perfect book for Veteran's Day!

White Table Ceremony

Each year, at our flag raising before Veteran's Day, members of the United States Navy volunteer to come out and set The White Table. It is an extremely moving ceremony that reminds me how much our Veterans are willing to sacrifice for the love of our great Country. The words below are spoken as the table is set...
America's White Table in Honor of Veteran's Day brought to you by Life After Empty Nest.
 
Those who have served ...

and those currently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States ...

are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace ...

has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice.

We are compelled to never forget ...

that while we enjoy our daily pleasures ...

there are others who have endured ...

and may still be enduring ...

the agonies of pain, deprivation and internment.

Before we begin our activities this evening ...

we will pause to recognize our POWs and MIAs.

We call your attention to this small table ...

which occupies the place of dignity and honor.

It is set for one ...

symbolizing the fact that members of our Armed Forces ...

are missing from our ranks.

We call them POWs and MIAs.

We call them comrades.

They are unable to be with their loved ones and families tonight ...

so we join together to pay a humble tribute to them ...

and bear witness to their continued absence.

This table, set for one, is small ...

symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner ...

alone against his or her suppressors.

The table cloth is white ...

symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their Country's call to arms.

The single red rose in the vase ...

signifies the blood they have shed ...

to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America.

The rose also reminds us of the family and friends ...

who keep the faith ...

while awaiting their return.

The yellow ribbon on the vase represents those who demand a final accounting of our comrades who are not among us tonight.

The slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate.

The salt, when sprinkled onto the plate ...

reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.

The glass is inverted ...

they cannot toast with us this night.

The chair is empty ...

they are not here.

The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope ...

which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home ...

away from their captors ...

and into the open arms of a grateful Nation.

Let us pray to the Supreme Commander that all of our comrades will soon be back within our ranks.

Let us remember them and never forget their sacrifices.

May God forever watch over them ...

and protect them and their families.

America's White Table in Honor of Veteran's Day brought to you by Life After Empty Nest.

We appreciate these Veteran's for coming out and sharing this very special ceremony with us! 

America's White Table in Honor of Veteran's Day brought to you by Life After Empty Nest.

America's White Table

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585362166?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1585362166&linkCode=xm2&tag=lifaftempnes-20
I've included a link and book summary if f you are interested in adding this fantastic book to your child's home library click here.

 As a special gift to her Uncle John, Katie and her sisters are asked to help set the white table for dinner. As their mother explains the significance of each item placed on the table Katie comes to understand and appreciate the depth of sacrifice that her uncle, and each member of the Armed Forces and their families, may be called to give. It was just a little white table... but it felt as big as America when we helped Mama put each item on it and she told us why it was so important.
Thank you to ALL Veteran's past and present.  
I hope you feel honored today and always!

How do you celebrate Veteran's Day?
Any special Veterans in your life?  Feel free to comment and give them a shout out!

Thanks for Reading!
xoxo

 



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Other Military Books This Teacher Recommends

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