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A reader’s perspective: Giving a High Five to Those who gave their Time

Showing gratitude for the veterans
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  In Gratitude of our Veterans Day, November 11, Staff at the Dick Barry Saugus Senior Center were busy honoring those who defended our Country!

  Director Laurie Davis gave out flags with a free lunch coupon for those who served. Lunchtime there was a presentation and Veterans lunch was on the house!

  The Event Ceremony was hosted by Laurie Davis, Cheryl Roberto and Cathy Strum. (See pictures.) The presentation included the lonely set table for the loved one trapped somewhere in time and place unable to journey home; the Missing in Action and the prisoner of war.

  Cathy read the “America’s White Table” poem by Margot Theis Raven (2005) after children’s book of same name.

  This is “The Missing Table” that in 1980 Lawrence Tassone set out as a Military Base Presentation, which is now set out on Bases across the land to honor those on Veterans Day that are still imprisoned and those who don’t make it back home. The meaning behind each set piece on the table is as follows:

  • The Table of one: to represent the frailty of the alone prisoner.
  • The white table cloth: for the soldier’s purity of intention to respond to their Country’s call.
  • Black napkin: for sorrow of captivity.
  • Single rose in vase: for the blood shed to ensure freedom in the USA and for family and friends of missing comrades who keep the faith waiting for their return.
  • Yellow ribbons on vase: representing thousands who demand accountability of our comrades not here with us tonight.
  • Lemon: reminds us of their bitter fate.
  • Salt sprinkled on the table: reminds us of countless tears of families who wait.
  • Glass inverted: They can’t toast.
  • Empty chair: because they are not here.
  • Candle: reminiscent of the light of hope that lives in our heart and that illuminates their way home away from their captors to the open arms of a grateful nation.

  Upon checking on a few websites it’s estimated that more than 81,500 POW MIA Americans remain missing from World War II, Korean war, Vietnam war, Cold war, Gulf war and other Conflicts.

  The poem, no matter which version, and reading or copying the words, leaves my eyes soaked …are you in need of a tissue, too?

  Editor’s Note: Saugus resident Joanie Allbee is a local artist and frequent contributor to The Saugus Advocate. She is an author and longtime writer of articles for various publications. As the daughter of a Purple Heart Recipient, she has a special place in her heart for the men and women who serve in America’s Armed Forces. She loves to write poetry. She is a longtime author and writer for various publications.

Joanie Allbee last Friday on Veterans Day
Joanie Allbee last Friday on Veterans Day in the Field of Flags in front of Saugus Town Hall. The Parson Roby Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution organized the display of flags honoring living and departed veterans. (Courtesy Photo to The Saugus Advocate)
The Table of One at a Veterans Day (2)
This is the Table of One at a Veterans Day Observance ceremony held last week at the Saugus Senior Center. (Courtesy Photo to the Saugus Advocate by Joanie Allbee)

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