The people gathered for the VFW 2015 Thanksgiving Dinner (c) 2015 Saradunn

The people gathered for the VFW 2015 Thanksgiving Dinner
(c) 2015 Saradunn

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POW/MIA Remembrance Service table for one. (c) 2015 Saradunn

POW/MIA Remembrance Service table for one.
(c) 2015 Saradunn


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Thanksgiving dinner at the VFW hall 2015. (c) 2015  Saradunn

Thanksgiving dinner at the VFW hall 2015.
(c) 2015 Saradunn


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VFW Thanksgiving Meal (c) 2015 Saradunn

VFW Thanksgiving Meal
(c) 2015 Saradunn


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Carrot Cake, other desserts were lemon, blueberry, pumpkin,and apple pie and several kinds of delicious cookies... mine was soft molasses with white chocolate chips.

Carrot Cake, other desserts were lemon, blueberry, pumpkin,and apple pie and several kinds of delicious cookies… mine was soft molasses with white chocolate chips.


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Today, several veterans and myself joined other veterans and their families and friends at the VFW for a Thanksgiving dinner…no charge. They started with the singing of Star Spangled Banner, Pledge of Allegiance, and a ceremony for the POA/MIA with a table set for one…which the symbolism was explained. This was very moving to hear and watch.
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At the end of this blog, I have a copy of the ceremony for the POA/MIA.
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The dinner was very nice.. Turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetables and rolls. Pickles and olives on the table. Coffee served. They made up plates and served us…and then a choice of pies,and cookies… I had a molasses cookie with white choc chips… really good.

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Below I have the service that started our meal at the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars)
Thanksgiving dinner. If was the first time I really heard the service due to a hearing loss.
I had put in a hearing enhancer (over the counter hearing appliance) and was filled with
gratitude for those whose company I was enjoying today.

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The following is a suggested POW/MIA Remembrance Service to be used at American Legion meetings, banquets, luncheons or memorial gatherings in conjunction with the POW/MIA flag draped over an empty chair. The service can be adopted or modified appropriately. Members should remove their caps during this service.

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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 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, deprivation and imprisonment.

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Before we begin our activities, we pause to recognize our POWs and MIAs.

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We call your attention to this small table

which occupies a place of dignity and honor.

It is set for one,

symbolizing the fact

that members of our armed forces are missing from our ranks.

They are referred to as POWs and MIAs.

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We call them comrades.

They are unable to be with their loved ones and families,

so we join together to pay humble tribute to them,

and to bear witness to their continued absence.

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The table is small,

symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner,

alone against his or her suppressors.

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The tablecloth is white,

symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their Country’s call to arms.

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The single rose in the vase

signifies the blood they may have shed in sacrifice

to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America.

This rose also reminds us

of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep faith,

while awaiting their return.

The red ribbon on the vase represents

an unyielding determination for a proper accounting of our comrades

who are not among us.

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A slice of lemon on the plate

reminds us of their bitter fate.

The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us

of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.

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The glass is inverted,

they cannot toast with us at this time.

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The chair is empty. They are NOT here.

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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.

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The American flag reminds us

that many of them may never return –

and have paid the supreme sacrifice to insure our freedom.

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Let us pray to the Supreme Commander

that all of our comrades will soon be back within our ranks.

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Let us remember – and never forget their sacrifice.

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May God forever watch over them and protect them and their families.

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