|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - September 2010
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VFW honored POWs Thursday
Polk County Enterprise
BY LYNN BROWN
The Polk County VFW Post 8568 honored area veterans who spent a portion of their military service as prisoners of war and servicemen and women missing in action Thursday at an annual memorial program. Polk County native Jack Thomas was a prisoner of war in the European Theatre. Clifford Warren was a POW in the Pacific theater. Warren spoke to the audience speaking of the sacrifices of the many men who did not come home from World War II and the military personnel who serve our country today to preserve our freedoms. Warren also displayed photos of prisoners of war during and after his campaign. Post Quartermaster William Lowe presented the veterans with a plaque recognizing their time spent as prisoners of war and service to our country. A portion of the evening was spotlighted on a POW, MIA table ceremony. The neatly apportioned table was a symbolic setting to remember fellow comrades. The small table was set for one to symbolize one prisoner alone against his oppressors. A white tablecloth represented the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms. A single red rose displayed in a vase was a reminder of the families and loved one of those who keep the faith, waiting for their return. A red ribbon tied on the vase represented the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our missing. A single candle was lit symbolizing the upward reach of the prisoner’s unconquerable spirit. A slice of lemon was on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate. Salt on the bread plate symbolized the families tears as they wait. An inverted glass is a symbol those who cannot toast the evening. And an empty chair is a reminder that those comrades are not here. The ceremony is a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who have not returned to their homes and the sacrifices made on a daily basis by our young men and women serving in uniform for our country. Friday was the National POW/MIA recognition Day. The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office continues its mission to rescue American military personnel being held captive and return the remains of MIAs. For details, visit www.dtic.mil/dpmo/.