Fallen Comrade Table Spotlights Service Members Ultimate Sacrifice
Fallen Comrade Table Spotlights Service Members’ Ultimate Sacrifice
Last year, the Department of Energy’s Kansas City National Security Campus managed by Honeywell participated in the Fallen Comrade Table for the first time. This program honors service members who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
The Fallen Comrade Table means a lot to those of us who served in the military. As a veteran who dedicated more than 11 years to the U.S. Marines, I view the table as a way to honor not only the friends and colleagues I lost, but also the families who miss their loved ones every day.
Most service members have encountered a Fallen Comrade Table at an event along the way. They are commonly seen in U.S. military dining facilities as well as during special occasions like military balls. The tables are set in memory of fallen, missing or imprisoned military service members, and each item associated with the table has a profound meaning.
The small table is set for one, symbolizing the ceremonial remembrance and everlasting concern of survivors for their missing loved ones. A white tablecloth covers the table, signifying the purity of the service members’ intentions to respond to their country's call to arms. A single red rose represents the blood that was shed to ensure freedom. It also reminds us of the family and friends who keep the faith waiting for the missing comrade’s return. A red ribbon tied around the flower vase represents the love of country that inspired the service member to answer the nation’s call.
Set on the table is an inverted glass, which signifies the missing and fallen service members who can no longer partake. On the bread plate, passers-by will notice a slice of lemon and sprinkled salt. The lemon symbolizes the service member’s bitter fate and the salt represents the families’ tears as they wait to learn the fate of their loved ones.
Lastly, there is a lit candle on the table, representing the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate the way home for loved ones. The empty chair demonstrates the service member is no longer with us.
Sponsored by the Honeywell FM&T veterans group, this year the Fallen Comrade Table will be on display in the Honeywell FM&T cafeteria May 22-29 to coincide with the Memorial Day observance in the U.S. May 28. We hope the table inspires employees, and all of us, to reflect and honor service members who are no longer with us – not only during this week, but all year long.