POW-MIA Table ceremony at UW-Green Bay part of Veterans Week | WLUK
GREEN BAY (WLUK) — To some, it may look like a round white table, but it’s part of a solemn ceremony to honor veterans who were prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action.
Inside the Union Cafeteria at UW-Green Bay, ROTC cadets Elizabeth “Lizzie” Guerin and Andrew Lopez say the ceremony begins with a round table, covered in a white cloth.
“The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of our families and loved ones who keep the faith, awaiting their return. Remember,” said Guerin.
“When the U.S. has been in wars before, and been in conflicts, there are people that go unaccounted for and we still don’t know where they are,” added Lopez.
Department of Defense information indicates almost three million Americans served during the Vietnam War era. About 58,000 lost their lives and nearly 1,600 are listed as missing.
“There is salt up on the bread plate, symbolic of the families’ tears as they wait. Remember,” Guerin said during the ceremony.
“There are people that were on the battlefield with them, lost them as well. So, it’s just a very heavy feeling that we want everyone to understand. What it’s like for everyone who didn’t get their family members to come home,” she said.
The ceremony is designed to be somber and poignant.
“The chair. The chair is empty. They are not here. Remember,” said Guerin.
“I don’t think we can ever do too much to bring awareness to a situation like this,” said Lopez.
“All of you who have served with them, and called them comrades, remember. Until that day they come home. Remember,” said Guerin.
The table ceremony is part of Veterans Week at UW-Green Bay.