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The Missing Man Table Ceremony & Script

Below is a copy of the Script as seen and heard on the "Missing Man Table Ceremony" Video on YouTube; however, first a little background information: 

MESSAGE FROM ANN M. WOLF: "I prepared the Video, the article at my website & FB Page to support all families & individuals affected by the POW/MIA experience, as well as to support efforts with regard to gaining the release of Bowe Bergdahl who has been a POW for several years."

Cindi_Mink_POW_MIA_TableThis Video & Script gives you an example of this widely cherished ceremony but set for the single "Missing Man." A tradition at most important military and patriot functions, "The Missing Man Table Ceremony" throws light on elements of the service, explains the meaning and significance of each step... and takes the viewer deep into the world of the POW/MIA issue. For specifics about the History of the Ceremony go to "Touch The Wall."

PARENTS: Please use discretion when sharing this educational movie with younger children, since there are a few historic images which might be disturbing to some folks or some age groups, who are not fully prepared for the serious and graphic nature of the content.

Please consider becoming involved with this most important mission. Your simple efforts could make a big difference.

DISCLOSURE REGARDING SCRIPT:  I am an independently published, songwriter/recording artist/author, who happens to be a member of Rolling Thunder ®, Inc., Chapter 3, TN, as well as Chaplain for American Legion Riders, Post 13, Maryville, TN and a registered member of PGR. I am also a supporter of the efforts of "The Ride Home,"  and "Silver Star Families of America." Most all organizations which are connected in some way to the Military attend or conduct Missing Man Table Ceremonies on a regular basis; and so I am often asked if this Video project was on behalf of a particular organization. To answer that question.... this is an artistic and educational work, which is done voluntarily and not as a commissioned work by Rolling Thunder ®, Inc., National.or any other POW/MIA org. My hope is that all of these marvelous groups will benefit but most of all that the POW/MIAs & families will benefit as more and more people become aware of their needs and come on board to offer encouragement & support.

small_table_for_manyPUBLIC DOMAIN: Though this Script is in the Public Domain, this particular version was suggested by RT TN3 Chapter President, Clay Tumlin; some modifications have been applied for the purposes of the Video & Recording.

POW/MIA INFORMATION & SUPPORT GROUPS: There are many notable POW/MIA Links & support organizations; and a simple Google search will offer you a good selection. However here are a few; you are welcome to Contact Us to let us know of other great groups, stories, or educational resources that could be added to our list here: 

Message of the Lighthouse/Military Honors/Missing Man Table Ceremony

Digplanet for Wikepedia, News, Information &  other YouTube selections regarding the Missing Man Table Ceremony

National  League of POW/MIA Families"

"The Ride Home"

Rolling Thunder ®, Inc.

POW/MIA Recognition Day - Candlelight Vigil (As an example of how some groups "Remember & Honor")

NOTE REGARDING CURRENT POW/MIA BOWE BERGDAHL: "It has also been brought to my attention that there is some controversy as to the details surrounding Sgt. Bowe's capture; and there are even some who have questioned his allegiance to our Country. With regard to these allegations I will state that.... it is my position that Sgt. Bowe, as an American Soldier, deserves all best efforts to secure his safe release and return. Then after arriving home, he can speak for himself and all questions can be addressed in sequence, with facts in hand and with proper representation. I will not engage in "Trial by Press" or character assassination; I would hope that as Americans, we would all continue to honor one of the Pillars of our Liberty, which is the right for all Americans to be considered innocent until proven guilty...and until then, we pray for his safe return and for mercy upon his family and community."

"One Nation Under God with Liberty and Justice for All"....


For more about our active POW Bowe Bergdahl - Click Here

Rolling Thunder ®, Inc. - MD - Chapter 2

ARTIST INFORMATION: Ann Wolf is currently serving as Chaplain for American Legion Riders & Auxiliary; she is also a member of  Rolling Thunder ®, Inc., & Patriot Guard Riders. She is a military wife and Blue Star Mother. As a multi-lingual songwriter & recording artist, Ann is working constantly to produce music and articles which encourage & inspire love for God & love for others as expressed in works of charity and compassion. She is currently donating the first fruits of all artistic proceeds to charities domestically & abroad which support the efforts of wounded warrior orgs as well as to groups providing relief to children and elders in need. For more info on these efforts go to:


The Missing Man Table Ceremony


Those who have served and those currently serving in Branches of our United States Military are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice.

We are compelled then, 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, of deprivation, or of internment.

Let us pause then, to recognize our POW's and MIA's…with “The Missing Man Table Ceremony”:

See here, a table which has been raised to call attention to its purpose, which is to Honor our missing comrades in arms.

This table, set for one, is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his or her oppressors and representing all Americans still missing from each of the five Services -- Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard – as well as civilians.

These brave men and women answered our nations’ call and served the Cause of Freedom. So then, this table is a very special way of symbolizing the fact that members of our Armed Forces are missing from our ranks. These ones are referred to as POW's and MIA's. We call them "BROTHERS". They are unable to be with their loved ones and families here… so we join together to pay our humble tribute to them, and bear witness to their continued absence.

Before we begin ….let us pause for a moment of silent prayer…

Now let us review the meaning of the items on our Missing Man Table:

* The table is round: showing our everlasting concern for our men and women still missing.

* The tablecloth is white: The cloth symbolizes the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.

* The napkin is black: Symbolizing the “dark hearts of some politicians” and other leaders in government who haven’t tried to bring our soldiers home and who have forgotten them…

* A single red rose, is displayed in a vase: The red rose reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and of their loved ones and close friends who keep the faith and await answers concerning their missing family member or friend.

* The vase is tied with a red ribbon: which is a symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing. Although the ribbon has been temporarily broken, it is still firmly in our grasp and we will continue to search.

* A slice of lemon on the bread plate: reminds us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.

* A pinch of salt on each bread plate: symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.

* A Bible is placed prominently on the table: The bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country. The United States was founded as “One Nation Under God.”

* An inverted glass can be seen at the place setting: The inverted glass symbolizes the POW/or MIA’s inability to share in this evening’s meal.

* There is a chair tilted forward against the table: as though being saved for someone. The empty chair symbolizes that although these ones we recognize now… are missing, they are not forgotten.

* 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.

Let us pray to the Supreme Commander that all of our comrades will soon be back within our ranks. Let us remember and Never Forget their sacrifices. May God forever watch over them and protect them and their families; and may each of us live worthy of their sacrifice in the way that we love and serve….

In God We Trust and in His Name we pray…



*Missing Man Table Ceremony - YouTube

*Missing Man Table Ceremony - Facebook

*Blessed are the Ones - 9/11 & Beyond 

To watch all available Videos by Ann M. Wolf on YouTube - Click Here


You will find "The Missing Man Table Ceremony" on the CD, "A Patriot's Heart, In God We Trust" which can be obtained as a single download or as part of the CD. 

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