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The Cape May County American Legion Posts will conduct the POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony on Friday, September 20, 2013 to ensure that those courageous Americans, who gave their lives to preserving and protecting our freedom, will never be forgotten. The Ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial located at the Ocean View Service Area on the Garden State Parkway (mile marker 18.3). All members of the community, especially veterans, are encouraged to attend.

The POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed on the 3rd Friday in September and is one of the six days specified by law on which the black POW/MIA Flag shall be flown over Federal facilities and cemeteries, Post Offices and military installations across the United States.

The POW/MIA Recognition Day honors the commitments and sacrifices made by our nation’s prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action. More than 78,000 Americans are still unaccounted for from World War II; 8,100 from Korea; 120 from the Cold War; 1,810 from Vietnam; 3 from the Gulf War; and POW Bowe Robert Bergdahl, US Army, who has been held in the captivity of the Taliban-aligned Afghanistan Haqqani network since June 2009.

The Armed Forces History Museum (www.armedforcesmuseum.com) website advises that although “no one is able to trace the history of the White POW/MIA Table back to its very beginning, it is believed to have originated by the River Rats during the Vietnam War.  Once the war was over, it is believed the tradition continued state-side as a commemorative to the fallen comrades as well as the men who were still missing in action.   It wasn’t long before the tradition became a part of each branch of the military.  Over the years, the “table” has evolved and there are some slight differentiations that exist between the tables set by each branch of the military.  The general principle, and most of the setting, is similar.”

  1. The tablecloth chosen is always white to symbolize the pure intention with which those honored have served.
  2. A small table is set for just one person to reflect the vulnerability of one prisoner against his enemy.
  1. A      single rose in a vase sits on the table to symbolize the blood that has      been shed and to represent the families and loved ones that have been left      behind and the faith they uphold that their loved one will one day return.
  2. A      slice of lemon is placed on a bread plate as a reminder of their bitter      fate and the salt on the plate symbolizes the tears that have been shed by      their families as they quietly wait.
  3. A      glass on the table is inverted to signify their inability to be with us      and join the toast.
  4. A      candle on the table represents the light in our hearts that accompanies      the hope that they will one day find their way home.
  5. A      chair is placed at the table and remains empty, for they are not here with      us.

For any questions or more information, please contact Frederick B. Little, Senior Vice Commander Post 524, POW/MIA Chairman – Cape May County American Legion Executive Committee, at 215-370-5906.

FROM: BERNADETTE S. WALSH (609.374.0508/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)