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VFW to honor POW-MIAs, celebrate 50 years

September 12, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

It will be a very busy next few weeks at the VFW Post 10127 at 996 Pondella Road as two events that are open to the public will run the gamut of emotions.

On Friday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m., the VFW will hold a ceremony to remember those Missing in Action or were held as prisoners of war.

The event will feature the North Fort Myers High School JROTC as they perform a ritual of setting the dinner table in memory of fallen, missing or imprisoned military servicemembers.

The Missing Man Table is symbolic and serves as the focal point of ceremonial remembrance. The table, set for one, is small, symbolizing the frailty of one isolated prisoner. The table is round to represent everlasting concern on the part of the survivors for their missing loved ones. The seat is empty, as the missing and fallen aren't present.

The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions, and a single red rose in the vase, signifies the blood that many have shed in sacrifice to ensure our freedom.

The red ribbon represents the love of our country, a slice of lemon on the bread plate: represents the bitter fate of the missing, and the salt on the bread plate represents the tears shed by families.

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The inverted glass: represents the fact that the missing and fallen cannot partake. The Bible represents the spiritual strength and faith to sustain those lost from our country. The lit candle represents the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home.

"Everything on the table represents something. The cadets will be in full uniform and will help us prepare the ceremony. The commander and president of the auxiliary do the ceremony as well as the chaplains," said Carol Ainsco, Senior Vice President of the Post.

The VFW has held the event, which is observed nationally on the third Friday of September, since 2010. Because of Hurricane Irma, the event was cancelled last year.

On Saturday, Oct. 13, Post 10127 will celebrate 50 years in an all-day event with the help of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

"We'll have hot dogs and special things inside. We're still in the planning stages but we have some of it together," Ainsco said.

VFW Post 10127 has about 400 members and 243 auxiliary, which unlike other service organizations has both men and women as both men's and women's auxiliary merged at the beginning of the year.

For more information on these events call. (239) 995-0230



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