Happy Veterans Day to Western Tidewater

Published 9:34 am Friday, November 8, 2013

Monday is Veterans Day, and in honor of that, I’d like to dedicate this column to the men and women who have served our country overseas and at home.

I personally never served, so even though a good chunk of my friends and family members have, I can never really know what you go through. I can only thank you.

And there are a few community events I know about dedicated to the military, which I can share so that others may celebrate on that day.

This Saturday, the Sedley Recreation Association will host a Military Appreciation day at the Sedley ball field. It will include a parade at 11:30 a.m., which will start on Peachtree and go to Rosemont Road. At 12:30 p.m., there will be a flag-raising ceremony to honor the military.

Other events will fill the afternoon, including a football challenge by Greg Scott, a Poochie Pageant and a home run derby. Vendors will also line the streets with food and potential gifts for the holiday season. For more information, read the article in this newspaper.

In Smithfield, the Isle of Wight County Events Committee will host a program honoring the National Guard Sunday at Westside Elementary School at 3 p.m.

This Monday, the Franklin American Legion post will have a get-together for veterans at Applebee’s in Franklin. The event starts at 8 p.m. For more information about it, call Sgt. Demetreious Mathews at 567-3460.

I also know that several schools will be doing things today. I cannot say that this is an exhaustive list, but it is what has been communicated to me.

Speaking of Sgt. Mathews, he brought in an idea for everyone this Veterans Day: A Missing Soldier Table of Honor.

For it, you will need a small, preferably round table, with one chair; white table cloth; black cloth napkin; dinner plate and bread plate with silverware; lemon wedge; pinch of salt; white candle in a vase; red rose in a plain vase; red, white and blue ribbon; a wine glass placed upside down; and a mini American flag.

Place the dinner and bread plate on the table with the silverware on either side and napkin on the dinner plate. Place the lemon slice and salt on the bread plate. Put the rose in the vase, and tie the ribbon around the vase. Place the vase, the flag and the candle on the table. Add the wine glass, upside down.

The table is set for those who cannot be with us.

The black napkin stands for the emptiness left in the heart of the family and friends.

The single red rose in the vase reminds us of family and loved ones. The red, white and blue ribbon around the vase and flag represent the love of our country and way of life, which inspired soldiers to answer the call.

The lemon wedge on the bread plate reminds us of their bitter fate. The salt on the bread plate represents the tears of the families.

The upside down wine glass reminds us that our distinguished comrade cannot be with us to drink a toast or join in the festivities this day offers.

The American flag is present to pay tribute and mourn their loss.

CAIN MADDEN is the managing Editor of The Tidewater News. He can be contacted at 562-3187 or cain.madden@tidewaternews.com