This morning I attended the monthly meeting of the Thankful Hubbard chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The emphasis today was the recognition of Vietnam-era veterans. There were about 25 veterans present as guests of DAR members. Each one was presented the DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal by our Regent, Betty Bird. Our guest speaker was Colonel Bob Harkins (ret.), Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Security, University of Texas at Austin.
In the middle of the room was a small round table set for the absent serviceman/woman. There were several items on the table in addition to a folded American flag, each with a symbolic meaning: (1) the white tablecloth symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call of duty, (2) a single red rose in a vase reminding us of the life of the missing, (3) the red ribbon tied around the vase, symbolizing our determination to account for our missing, (4) a pinch of salt symbolizing the tears of the missing and their families, (5) a Bible representing the strength gained through faith, (6) an inverted glass symbolizing their inability to share the evening’s toast and (7) the empty chair to symbolize their absence.