We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As you entered the banquet hall this evening, you may have noticed a small table in a place of honor. It is set for one. This table is our way of symbolizing the fact that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly called POWs or MIAs, 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 -- Symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors. Remember!
The Tablecloth is white -- Symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms. Remember!
The single Red 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 upon the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our missing. Remember!
The Candle, the candle is lit -- Symbolizing the upward reach of their unconquerable spirit. Remember!
A Slice of Lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate. Remember!
There is Salt upon the bread plate -- Symbolic of the families tears as they wait. Remember!
The Glass is inverted -- They cannot toast with us this night. Remember!
The Chair -- The chair is empty. They are not here. Remember!
Remember! -- All of you who 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. Remember!
Remember! -- Until the day they come home, Remember!
Here’s some photos that DelVecchio took:
Formations from all the armed services parade
The flag of every state is carried past the reviewing stand
The Missing Man Formation flyby
No Man Left Behind are more than words; they’re our creed.
New POW liberation sculpture to be erected in San Diego.
I like the POW liberation statue a lot. The photos taken during the second World War of the prisoners of war being liberated in Germany show men even more desperately emaciated, starved down to their human essentials, but still defiant. I read somewhere on the Internet that the sculptor of this statue decided to moderate the emaciation of his released prisoner, because the reality I mention was just too shocking for today's audience.