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“The Table” inspired by The Missing Man Table Ceremony July 22, 2012

Posted by William Spear in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A simple table with settings for six awaits its guests. But who are the guests and will they come? Perhaps, more importantly, can they come?

“The Table” is inspired by The Missing Man Table Ceremony which recalls the fate of, and pledges vigilance for locating, Prisoners of War and Missing in Action.


The Table


Beat 1)  There is a Table, Set for Six


NARRATOR:  There is a table

Which is set

Wherever people congregate.


ARMY VOICE:  From upscale restaurants

To downtown soup kitchens.

From dining rooms

To dining cars

To diners.

Invitations have been sent to six guests

And their comrades of many thousands more.


Beat 2)  Needing to Believe


NARRATOR:  There is a table

Which is set

With circular proportions.


MARINE CORPS VOICE:  It signifies our intent

And unending desire,

To know

To understand

And believe,

That our missing guests

Will someday be present.


Beat 3)  Protect and Engage


NARRATOR:  There is a table

Which is set

Draped with a tablecloth of white.


NAVY VOICE:  It symbolizes the purity

And virtue of our guests.

To act


And engage,

For the service of the country

In a unique and special way.


Beat 4)  Bound by Faith


NARRATOR:  There is a table

Which is set

With a vase and single red rose.


AIR FORCE VOICE:  The rose, surrounded by barbed thorns,

Is symbolic of each guest.

Loved ones

And friends

Are keeping the faith.

The vase is bound with a red ribbon

Just as we are bound to our guests.


Beat 5)  Bitter Fates and Tears


NARRATOR:  There is a table

Which is set

And laden with lemon and salt.


COAST GUARD VOICE:  A slice of lemon drips upon

The bread plate of lives.


Are the fates

Kept from the table.

And grains of salt are tears wept by

Absent guests, their families, and friends.


Beat 6)  No Celebration


NARRATOR:  There is a table

Which is set

With a champagne glass placed upside down.


CIVILIAN VOICE:  It holds no toast

And contains no celebration.

It is hollow,


A void.

It will never sparkle

Without the brilliance of our guests.


Beat 7)  Empty Chairs


NARRATOR:  There is a table

Which is set

For guests who can not come.


ARMY VOICE:  Upon the table rests a Bible offering strength,


MARINE CORPS VOICE:  Faith, and a reminder of our country’s roots.


NAVY VOICE:  Chairs beckon, but go unheeded, by our absent guests,


AIR FORCE VOICE:  They are comrades, loved ones, and friends who are with us in spirit if not in actuality.


COAST GUARD VOICE:  Each served the nation in a special and now unending way.


CIVILIAN VOICE:  All shall be remembered while we ask questions and await answers.


Beat 8)  Toast to Missing Guests


NARRATOR:  We raise our water glasses

In honor of America’s

Prisoners of War and Missing in Action.

We shall forever strive

To learn their fates

Because we will never forget them.


ARMY VOICE:  The Army will not forget.


MARINE CORPS VOICE:  Nor the Marine Corps.


NAVY VOICE:  We, the Navy, remember them all.


AIR FORCE VOICE:  So, too, does the Air Force.


COAST GUARD VOICE:  Their memories still burn with the Coast Guard.


CIVILIAN VOICE:  They were once Civilians and will always be family and friends.


Beat 9)  There is a Table


NARRATOR:  (WITH EMPHASIS)  We must never forget . . .  (RESUME AS PREVIOUSLY)  . . . That there is a table, wherever people congregate.


Beat 10)  The End



“The Table” is included in “Lit Between the Ears, Volume Two: Mayonnaise in My Cake and Holiday Offerings” scheduled for release in August 2012.




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