On September 18, 2015 at the Absecon City Hall, Rolling Thunder Ch4 of NJ performed a Missing Man Ceremony with a POW “Chair of Honor” Dedication on National POW/MIA Recognition Day. The Missing Man Ceremony includes a table placed in Honor. It is A way of symbolizing the fact that many members of our Armed Forces are missing from our midst. More commonly known as POW/MIA’s. They are not able to be with us, so they are remembered in spirit.
Paul Berenotto, President of the Rolling Thunder Ch4 of NJ, spoke these words: “The table is round to show our everlasting concern for our missing soldiers. The tablecloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering their country’s call to duty. The single red rose, in the vase, signifies the blood they had shed to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. The red ribbon tied so prominently on the base is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn upon the lapels and breast of thousands who bore witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our missing. A slice of lemon, on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in foreign land. A pinch of salt, symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families seeking answers. The bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as One Nation Under GOD. The Candle is reminiscent of the light of hope, which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, and into the open arms of a grateful nation. The glass, are inverted, they cannot toast with us today. The chairs, are empty, they are not here. Remember ALL, you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid and relied upon them. Those whose freedom they fought for, Remember them for surely, they have not forsaken you”.
After a benediction by Louw-Shang Liu of Rolling Thunder, Abby and Rachel Cohen sang “Amazing Grace” which was followed by the Absecon/Galloway VFW Memorial Post 9462 Honor Guard gun salute and Taps. The Marine Corps Veterans Direct Action Team brought military vehicles and helped coordinate Color Guards.
Also on hand to help and participate was the Civil Air Patrol, The Boy Scouts and the American Legion.