Through the month of May, visitors to Carnegie Public Library are welcome to stop and offer respect and remembrance by viewing the Fallen Comrade Table.
Displays for community members are provided by the Fayette County Historical Society (FCHS) and are located on the second floor of the library, 127 S. North St. in Washington Court House.
The display is available for viewing during regular library hours: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The display and explanation of symbolism are provided by FCHS member Jeff Garringer:
The Missing Man Table, also known as the Fallen Comrade Table, is steeped in symbolism and is featured in solemn ceremonies that fallen, missing or imprisoned U. S. military service members are not forgotten.
Each item on the Missing Man or Fallen Comrade Table represents the emotions and feelings reserved for those who did not come home. The ceremony symbolizes that they are with us, here in spirit. All Americans should never forget the brave men and women who answered our nation’s call to serve and fought for our freedom with honor.
The symbolism of the Missing Man Table:
The table is round, to show our everlasting concern for our missing men.
The cloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to serve.
The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the lives of these Americans and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith while seeking answers.
The red ribbon symbolizes our continued determination to account for our missing.
A slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate — captured and missing in a foreign land.
A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families who long for answers after decades of uncertainty.
The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return, alive or dead.
The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.
The glass is inverted, symbolizing their inability to share a toast.
The chair is empty, the seat that remains unclaimed at the table.