Missing Man Table Ceremony
YouTube Video with Script by Ann M. Wolf
Description: This is the widely cherished ceremony, “The Missing Man Table,” set for the single “Missing Man” who represents the captured and missing from all conflicts. A tradition at most important military and patriot functions, this video throws light on elements of the service, explaining the meaning and significance of each article on the Table & taking the viewer deep into the world of the POW/MIA issue.
Note: To date, there is no “official version” of the Missing Man Table Ceremony on record in terms of “protocol” which has been deemed by Congress to be “correct”; therefore all versions of this ceremony are expressions from the perspective of presenters. (In addition, all citizens are welcome to design a Ceremony which reflects their faith or viewpoint).
Disclosure: To see full disclosure with regard to this version of the ceremony, scroll and read below.
Dedication: “This page is dedicated to those who have served our Nation in the cause of Freedom and especially to those who did not return home, having become Missing in Action (MIA) or a Prisoner of War (POW); our respect and thanksgiving also go out to their families who shared the burden of this loss and sacrifice.” Ann M. Wolf
Sharing this ceremony: Feel free to share this page with your people, community groups, churches, scout troops, and others who would be inspired to learn more about the sacrifices made by our veterans who paid the ultimate price for Freedom. See additional information at the base of this article regarding the sharing of Ann M. Wolf’s content or about having her come to your event to do a live version of one of her ceremonies.
Click to play Mp3 – Scroll to read script or watch YouTube video:
What others say about the Video
“THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO FOR THE LORD AND OUR VETERANS. WITH LOVE AND RESPECT FROM THE CSA AND THE GIBSONS. Chosen Soldiers of the Almighty.”
“Thank you sister Anne for this powerful and hard hitting video I have tears in my eyes thank you 825247 PRE MCGANN 4TH INFANTRY BATT”
“Thank you Ann for sharing this. I will share with others. Also thank you for all the efforts you put into honoring our veterans past and present. You are truly being use by God with all your talents. May the Lord Bless you richly.”
“THIS IS GOT TO BE ONE OF THE BEST VIDEOS I HAVE EVER WATCHED HAS ME CRYING TY ANN FOR YOUR LOVE FOR US VETERANS”
“Thank you so much for this beautiful and heart touching presentation. As I watch this I am reminded how lucky we are to have made it home from that far away land we served in and pray for our lost brothers and sisters that paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
“Absolutely NO one can do the Missing Man Table Ceremony like you, Ann!”
Parental Advisory: Please use discretion when sharing this educational movie with younger children, since there are a few historic images which might be disturbing to some folks or some age groups, who are not fully prepared for the serious & graphic nature of the content.
Disclosure: This is an artistic and educational work, which is done voluntarily and not as a commissioned work by Rolling Thunder ®, Inc., National.or any other POW/MIA org.
The Missing Man Table Ceremony
Those who have served and those currently serving in the uniformed services 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 then, 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, of deprivation, or of internment.
Let us pause then, to recognize our POW’s and MIA’s…with “The Missing Man Table Ceremony” . . .
See at the front of your room, a table which has been raised to call attention to its purpose, which is to Honor our missing comrades in arms.
This table set for one, is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his or her oppressors and representing all Americans still missing from each of the five Services: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard – as well as civilians.
These brave men and women answered our nation’s’ call and served the Cause of Freedom. This table is a very special way of symbolizing the fact that members of our Armed Forces are missing from our ranks. These ones are referred to as POW’s (or prisoners of war) and MIA’s (or missing in action); but we call them “BROTHERS.” They are unable to be with their loved ones and families here… so we join together to pay our humble tribute to them, and bear witness to their continued absence.
Before we begin ….let us pause for a moment of silent prayer…
Now let us review the meaning of the items on our Missing Man Table:
The table . . . is round: showing our everlasting concern for our men and women still missing.
The tablecloth is white: The cloth symbolizes the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.
The napkin is black . . . symbolizing the black (dark) hearts of some politicians and other leaders in government who haven’t brought our soldiers home and have forgotten them…
A single red rose . . . is displayed in a vase: The red rose reminds us of the life of each of the missing and of their loved ones and close friends who keep the faith and await answers concerning their missing family member or friend.
The vase is tied with a red ribbon . . . which is a symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing. Although the ribbon has been temporarily broken, it is still firmly in our grasp; and we will continue to search.
A slice of lemon on the bread plate . . . reminds us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.
A pinch of salt on each bread plate . . . symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.
A Bible is placed prominently on the table . . . The bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country. The United States was founded as “One Nation Under God.”
An inverted glass is placed at the place setting . . . The inverted glass symbolizes their inability to share in this evening’s meal.
There is a chair tilted forward against the table . . . as though being saved for someone; the empty chair symbolizes that although they are missing, they are not forgotten.
The candle is reminiscent of the Light of Hope . . . which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to 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 and Never Forget their sacrifices. May God forever watch over them and protect them and their families; and may each of us live worthy of their sacrifice in the way that we love and serve….
In God We Trust and in His Name we pray.…
Additional credits: Soundtrack is composed & performed by Tracy Collins.
This Ceremony is in the public domain; this script has been slightly edited and developed for the purposes of this narration by Ann M. Wolf.
Disclaimer from Ann M. Wolf:
“The use of the Bible or mention of God in this version of the Missing Man Table Ceremony Script is NOT to exclude or deny any other faith on the planet or to disrespect those who are atheists or those who have no specific faith; it is simply a gesture of love from my heart to yours. POW/MIAs being honored in this ceremony suffered and/or died so that I would have the Freedom to perform this ceremony and so that any listeners could choose to watch or walk away, according to their views. This version has been adapted by myself as a Judeo/Christian Chaplain; and it is my gift of thanks for the sacrifices which obtained my freedom. When I perform this Ceremony, it is offered out of love & respect to the Veteran community and their families (regardless of their faith, race, culture, etc.) who “paid the price” and a price I could never repay except to use my Freedom to try and help or encourage others.
This version of the Ceremony came to me through civic organizations which were performing the Table Ceremony on a regular basis. This version does include the word “comrade” with reference to “fellow service people in the combat zone.” Since this word could have a different meaning to some listeners, I researched the term prior to recording the narration, because it would not be my intention to needlessly invoke bad feelings for anyone because of the use of a word. What I confirmed, is that the definition of the word “comrade,” (according to the dictionaries I consulted when preparing to narrate this video,) is as follows: (1) A person who shares in one’s activities, occupation, etc.; companion, associate, or friend. (2.) A fellow member of a fraternal group, political party, etc. – Though there have been times when this word has been used under oppressive regimes, it is a word which clearly has a positive connotation as well and therefore I left this word in in order to respect the wording and heart of the original author who was clearly a American Patriot. As for me being willing to pass along the elements of this ceremony, other than the dictionary definition as stated in this disclosure, no other meaning of the word “comrade” is intended or even implied. Thank you and sincerely, Chaplain Ann M. Wolf”
Disclosure: To read full disclosure with regard to this version of the ceremony – Click here
Missing Man Table Ceremony – Mp3
Soundtrack: This narration is available on the album, ” A Patriot’s Heart, In God We Trust” by Ann M. Wolf, along with many classic hymns and stirring anthems for God & Country.
Preview Mp3: Click on CD Baby Icons to preview “The Missing Man Table Ceremony” or any other Ann M. Wolf song or album.
Missing Man Table Ceremony 4 your event or memorial
You are welcome to play this Mp3 or stream Ann’s YouTube Video at your event;
however if you would like Ann to come & do a live rendition of “The Missing Man Table Ceremony” – Read More.