During the month of November the Library is honoring our current military members and our veterans in a special display of photos contributed by our patrons. 

In addition, we have a table which pays tribute to military servicemen and women. It is set for one, memorializing the fact that members of our armed forces are missing from the ranks. The accompanying sign explains the special meaning behind the table setting.

America's White Table, by Margot Theis Raven, is the inspiration for this simple display.

Ever since the Vietnam War, a white table has been set across America in mess halls and at military events to honor America's Armed Forces, especially those missing in action and held prisoner of war.

Materials needed:

  • One small round table.    
  • One chair.
  • White tablecloth.
  • Black napkin.
  • One lit candle.
  • Table setting for one.
  • Salt shaker with some salt sprinkled on the dinner plate.
  • A lemon slice.
  • Vase with yellow ribbon tied around it.
  • Red rose.
  • Water glass inverted on table.

What they symbolize:

This table, set for one, is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner, alone. It is set for one, symbolizing the fact that some are missing from our ranks.

The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms.

The black napkin represents the sorrow of captivity.

The single red rose in the vase, signifies the blood that many have shed to ensure the freedom of the United States of America. This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep the faith, awaiting their return.

The yellow ribbon on the vase represents the yellow ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us tonight.

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

The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.

The glass is inverted because they cannot toast with us.

The chair is empty because they are not here.

The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope that lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation.