"The Fallen Comrade Ceremony" can be reenacted in your local church.
A table of Remembrance for Memorial Day Sunday, May 29, 2016
May I suggest that Sunday, May 29, the day before Memorial Day which is Monday, May 30, 2016, that you give consideration to placing a table of remembrance in a prominent place in the sanctuary of your local church.
Here is a ceremony that we call “Fallen Comrade Ceremony”(author unknown) which can easily be adapted for your morning worship service with the approval of your pastor:
Narrator: While we are honored to have you all present on this Memorial Day Sunday 2016, we would be remiss if we did not pause to remember those who could not be with us.
The table that you see is set for one, in a place of honor. This table is filled with symbolism.
The table cloth is white symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call of duty for our country. This table is our way of symbolizing the fact that members of our Armed Forces who are missed from our midst. They are commonly called fallen comrades. Some are called POW or MIA. We call them“brothers and sisters.” They are unable to be with us today, and so we remember them because of their sacrifice and incarceration.
The chair represents the thousands of mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers who waited at home for over (300,000) Americans who would never return.
The red rose represents the hopes and dreams of peace for each soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice for the people of South Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan (to name a few). 56,685 casualties came with the cease fire following 11 long years of direct U. S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.
A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.
The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.
The wine glass placed upside down represents their inability to share our toast and all of life’s hopes and dreams never realized by those who were lost.
The yellow ribbon represents the hopes and prayers of the thousands of families and friends who waited for the safe return of their loved ones from Operation Desert Shield / Storm of over 500,000 U. S. Service personnel. The hopes and prayers for 246 went unanswered. During the ongoing operations enduring freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and Afghanistan our brothers and sisters continue to make the ultimate sacrifice while securing freedom for us and our allies.
The lighting of the candle serves to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice our fallen comrades and their families have made to preserve the precious freedom we all cherish today.
As a small tribute, I ask that we take a moment of silence as an expression of our gratitude to those whose selfless service enables us to be here today in freedom.
(Note: It would be fitting for a bugler or a recording of Taps be played).
[Editor's comment: May I suggest that you get as many people involved in this ceremony as possible, young and old alike. When you do it will become their ceremony, and you will encourage them to be more involved in your local church, as well as making friends in your community.
Make sure your local newspaper or television station is given opportunity to cover this news story. You will be pleasantly surprised that newspaper editors will be delighted to publish your story.
Acquire the names of all who have served in the Armed Forces from your church and community. People like to be remembered.
May God grant you favor and success with this Memorial Day Sunday ceremony.]