Senior Center recognizes veterans with brunch

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Senior Center of South Pearl River County held its annual veteran’s brunch Friday, which also honored prisoners of war and those missing in action during their time serving in the U.S military. 

Executive Director David Skyes said he was pleased to have the opportunity to thank all those who served the nation over the years.

“It is with immense pride that we all gather here today, and the best we can do is say a big thank you to these brave heroes,” Skyes said.

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The brunch was followed by an emotional homage by Dennis Redman, who served with Special Forces in the U.S Army. He addressed the gathering about The Missing Man Table, also known as the Fallen Comrade Table.

Redman said those tables are usually set within sight of everyone seated in the dining area, a tradition that honors those who never returned from war.

The circular table draped with a white cloth signifies the everlasting concern of those families who’ve had someone away at war.

The Bible on the right side of the table represents strength and faith to protect those who’d lost their lives in service. The red rose placed in a vase is symbolic of the blood that many shed for the nation. The drinking glass placed upside down on table is reminiscent of the service man or woman’s absence while an empty chair represents the grief felt for those missing and fallen in action.

Keynote speaker for the ceremony Stacey Wilkes said that veterans should be remembered not just during the holidays, but year round.

“Today fewer than 10 percent of the population can claim the title of veteran and I don’t believe we can even comprehend what conditions they’ve weathered while away from their homes.”

The ceremony ended by acknowledging each veteran in attendance for their service.

“A lot of times when we talk about veterans, we don’t realize it’s not just us serving, but it’s the wife, the mothers and children as well,” Redman said.