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!