“White Table” set up to honor our nation’s fallen, missing this Memorial Day
RAPID CITY, S.D. — It has different names: “America’s White Table, the “Missing Man Table,” or the “Fallen Soldiers Table.” One local restaurant took advantage of this tradition in time for Memorial Day.
Each piece has meaning. The white table cloth is the purity of their motives when answering the call of duty. The single red rose reminds us of live and the blood that was shed. The vase is tied with a red ribbon, a symbol of commitment and determination to account for those that are still missing. The salt represents the tears of family members whose loved ones are still missing.
Rhonda Pearcy, the co-founder of Fork Real Café, says, “Each piece just represents and really brings us back to [the fact that] it’s not about camping, it’s not about having the day off, it’s really for us to remember our servicemen who aren’t here anymore.”
Below is a full list of the objects included in the American White Table tradition:
- The table is round – to show our everlasting devotion and concern for our fallen and missing comrades.
- The cloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.
- The single red rose, displayed in a vase, remind us of the life, and the blood that was shed, and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith and await answers.
- The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our commitment, and continued determination to account for our missing.
- A slice of lemon on the plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.
- The salt is to remind us of the tears endured by those missing and their families who still seek answers.
- The black napkin is a reminder of the isolation, deprivation, and cruel fate our missing.
- The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.
- The glass is inverted – to symbolize their inability to share this evening with us.
- The chair is empty and tilted – they are not here – and will remain so until they return or are accounted for.