Lone Place Setting -America’s White Table–You Are Not Forgotten

white table

Families gathering, feasting, and celebrating together is what it’s all about. Amidst the baking of pies, the mashing of potatoes, and the basting of the turkey, remember not only to count your blessings, but remember those serving and protecting us.

This time of year, I always encourage people to start a new tradition by setting an extra plate at your table to remind us of our troops unable to be home with their families and friends during the holidays.

My friend, Patricia Tilton is the creator of the wonderful blog, Children’s Books Heal. One of her book reviews shared the story of America’s White Table by Margot Theis Raven.

This article describes the tradition held in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy dining halls across America to honor the men and women who have served their country.

“We cover a small table with a white cloth to honor a soldier’s pure heart when he answers his country’s call to duty.

“We place a lemon slice and grains of salt on a plate to show a captive soldier’s bitter fate and tears of families waiting for loved ones to return.”

“We push an empty chair to the table for the missing soldiers who are not here.”

“We lay a black napkin for the sorrow of captivity, and turn over a glass for the meal that won’t be eaten.”

“We place a white candle for peace and finally, a red rose in a vase tied with a red ribbon for the hope that all our missing will return someday.” 

“You are not forgotten so long as there is one left in whom your memory remains.”

As we welcome family from near and far, start a new tradition for Thanksgiving. Set a plate or your own white table.  Thank God for these brave men and women and all the freedoms we have. May God bless our servicemen and woman, our veterans, and our families and friends.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Start This Holiday Traditon

Amidst the baking of pumpkin muffins, the mashing of potatoes, and the basting of the turkey, remember not only to count your blessings but also to remember those who are serving and protecting us.

As we welcome family from near and far, start a new tradition for Thanksgiving. Set an extra plate at your table as a reminder of our troops unable to be home with their families and friends during the holidays.

Thank God for these brave men and women and all the freedoms we have. May God bless our servicemen and woman, our veterans, and our families and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

Please join me in holding all of our troops in prayer.

Almighty God, We ask your blessing upon our deployed troops, those on land, at sea and in the air in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world. Hold our Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen in the palm of your hand as they enter Harm’s Way. Protect them as they protect us in defense of liberty and the increase of freedom. Bless them and their families for the sacrifices and selfless acts they perform. Remind us all that courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to do the right thing in the face of fear. Be with us also here at home as we pray for their safe return and peace in our time. Amen.

-Chaplain (CAPT) Jane Vieira, USN

Click here to enter free giveaways of eBook copies of Love You More Than You Know Mothers’ Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War in honor of our Veterans and their families (November 11-25).