Sunday, November 6, 2011

Library "white table" a tribute to Veterans

This week, as a tribute to our veterans, the Warrenton Library is setting up a "white table" modeled after the table in the children's book America's White Table (written by Margot Theis Raven and illustrated by Mike Benny) and by the thousands of white tables set up all over the world in memory and honor of American service members fallen, missing, or held captive in the line of duty.

Solitary and solemn, it is the table where no one will ever sit. In America's White Table, as a special gift to her Uncle John, Katie and her sisters are asked to help set the white table for dinner.

As their mother explains the significance of each item placed on the table Katie comes to understand and appreciate the depth of sacrifice that her uncle, and each member of the Armed Forces and their families, may be called to give.

The tradition of placing the table began with a group of Vietnam fighter pilots, but has now extended to honor all of those serving this country all around the world. Margot Theis Raven says, “The point is every single day of freedom is brought to you by that person who is not sitting there.”


The small table signifies one lone serviceman’s battle against many. The white cloth honors our comrade’s pure heart for answering his country’s call to duty. The lemon slice and grains of salt represent the captive serviceman’s bitter fate and the tears of his family awaiting his return. A black napkin is placed for the sorrow of captivity. The glass is upside down for the meal that won’t be eaten. The white candle and the red rose represent peace and hope for the serviceman’s return. The empty chair at the table is for the missing serviceman.“You are not forgotten so long as there is one left in whom your memory remains.”

Directions for placing your own white table can be found at the Military Salute Project.

Purchase your own copy of America's White Table from Amazon.com through the library's Wowbrary link. Your Amazon purchases through this link will benefit the library at no extra cost to you.

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