Wednesday, November 11, 2009

America's White Table - Margot Theis Raven

I saw the review of this book posted recently by Dawn @ She is Too Fond of Books, and immediately ordered it from the library. It arrived today, Veteran's Day, and thought it only appropriate to share it with you on this day of remembrance.

This is a picture book about a family that sets a traditional "White Table" on Veterans Day, just like tables that have been set across America in the dining halls of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force since the Vietnam War ended. The table honors men and women who have served in armed forces, particularly ones that are MIA or POWs.

A small table is used to show one soldier's lonely battle against many.

It is covered with a white tablecloth to honor the soldier's pure heart.

A lemon slice and grains of salt are placed on a plate to symbolize a captive soldier's bitter fate and the tears of their families.

An empty chair is pushed to the table for the missing who are not here.

A black napkin is laid by the plate for the sorrow of captivity.

A glass is turned over for the meal that will not be eaten.

There is a white candle for peace.

There is a red rose in a vase tied with a red ribbon for hope that the missing will return.

I'd never heard of this tradition before, but found it poignant to be reading it on this day.

Here is a salute to the bravest of the brave.


bermudaonion said...

I'd never heard of this tradition until I saw Dawn's post either, but it sounds like a wonderful one to start.

Kathleen said...

What a lovely although heartbreaking tradition. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

With a sick kid I had forgotten to prep for this today! When I called my older son to set the table he asked where we were setting The White Table - we got a small try table and covered it. He made the items we didn't have (lemon and red rose) out of paper! I was so pleased and proud that he remembered and wanted to participate.

A lovely and important book and tradition; so glad your library had it for you.

Heidenkind said...

I have never heard of this tradition, either.

Anna said...

That's a beautiful tribute. I hadn't heard of this before, but I bet it's something my dad would have done if he had.

Diary of an Eccentric

Alice said...

May I join you in saluting these honorable men and women as well? This is a lovely tribute.