Making an effort to remember ‘The Missing Man’

Published 8:00 am Monday, May 30, 2022

A Missing Man Table set up at Poppa’s Buffet by Deaconess Hospice brought a lot of notice and comments from diners Thursday. “I’m so glad they did this — it’s an honor to have it here,” an employee commented.

The Missing Man Table is a place setting representing each military personnel who never returned home. There is a poem that explains it:

The rose stands for the family with faith and love for those who serve.

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They’re held with the highest respect for that’s what they deserve.

A gold ribbon is for the loyalty waiting for those serving abroad,

As we pray that they’re watched over and kept close to God,

An inverted glass represents that the fallen can no longer toast.

They cannot be an honored guest or such a gracious host.

A lemon wedge represents the bitter loss of the fallen soldier’s life.

That causes so much pain like the sharp edge of a knife.

The salt is put in place for all the loved ones’ shedding tears.

For the soldier is no longer present to help calm our fears.

The candle stands tall for the blood that the soldier shed.

It holds a place of honor and is represented in red.

The empty chair symbolizes the missing comrade who isn’t here.

Now it stands alone for the voice that we can’t hear.

Deaconess Hospice will set up a second Missing Man Table at Wards on Friday.

“Working with hospice patients, we work with a lot of veterans,” said Morgan Boyd, an account executive with Deaconess Hospice. “We have a program called ‘We are Veterans’ where we do a lot of special things for our veterans. We appreciate them.

“Once we learned that a lot of older men meet up at Ward’s in the mornings and Poppa’s Buffet at lunch, we knew we had to set up Missing Men Tables there.”