The VFW and Ladies Auxiliary of Post 411 Birdsboro, Pa. held their 2nd annual candlelight ceremony on Sept. 20, 2013 to remember all POWs and MIAs.
Brigadier General Wilbur E. Wolf III, Assistant Division Commander of the 28th Infantry Division, Harrisburg Military Post was the guest speaker. He shared stories of two soldiers, one who went missing during the Battle of the Bulge and one who was taken prisoner during World War II.
Members of the Ladies Auxiliary honored all POWs/MIAs by setting a small round table for one symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors. The table cloth white symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms. A single red rose displayed in a vase to remind us of loved ones who keep the faith awaiting their return. A red ribbon on the vase reminiscent of the red ribbon worn upon the lapels of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our missing. The candle lit symbolizing the upward reach of their unconquerable spirit. A slice of lemon on the bread plate reminding us of their bitter fate. Salt upon the bread plate symbolic of the family’s tears as they wait. A glass inverted as they cannot toast with us. The Bible representing strength gained through faith.The chair empty. They are not here.
The ceremony concluded as all attendees proceeded outside with candles in hand as “Taps” was performed in front of the American flag by Bob Loy of Carlisle, Pa.