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Honoring Our Veterans
Honoring Our Veterans
Posted on 11/11/2022
The Table of Honor

Schools across the district held events in honor of Veterans Day. On Thursday, November 10, at Tennessee Middle School (TMS), students and staff invited veterans from the community to a celebration featuring special guest Corporal Henry Bert Mitchell, a 98-year-old World War II veteran. Learn more about the life of this true American hero.

According to one of the program’s organizers Adam Slaughter, who is a TMS teacher and veteran, the event was an opportunity for students to thank veterans for their service and gain a true understanding of the value of the holiday. In his introduction, Mr. Slaughter said, “We gather today to honor the men and women who have worn this nation’s uniform. We all took an oath to defend the constitution and fight for our flag and for our freedom. The oath was for life. More importantly, we join today to thank them for their service and their devotion to duty. More than 48 million Americans have served our country since 1776. Whether they served in time of peace or a time of war, American veterans all share a common bond: their unwavering belief in the cause for freedom. A belief that is so strong that they were willing to give their lives, if need be, in its defense. Sadly, nearly one million have made the ultimate sacrifice in combats or combat-related events.”

 The TMS program, as well as several others, recognized each branch of the military with the “Armed Forces Medley.” One unique aspect of the TMS event was the presentation of “The Table of Honor,” also known as “The Missing Man Table” or “The Fallen Soldier Table.” This is a traditional reminder of those soldiers who are fallen, missing, or imprisoned using the following symbolism:

We call your attention to this small table which occupies a place of dignity and honor.

  • The table is round, to show our everlasting concern for the missing.
  • The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.
  • The table, set for one, is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his or her suppressors.
  • The black napkin stands for the emptiness these warriors have left in the hearts of their families and friends. A purple heart has been placed here to remind us of that.
  • The single red rose in the vase signifies the blood many have shed and sacrificed to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep the faith while awaiting their return.
  • The yellow ribbon on the vase represents the yellow ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand with unyielding determination a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us today.
  • A slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate.
  • The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of family as they wait.
  • The glass is inverted; they cannot toast with us today.
  • The chair is empty; they are not here.
  • The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope that lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors into the open arms of a grateful nation.

At Tennessee High, the ROTC held a special Veterans Day ceremony for students and staff on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Nov. 11, 1919, “Armistice Day,” marked the first anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution calling for an annual observance, which then became a national holiday in 1938.

Holston View fifth graders presented a special musical performance to honor veterans. Second graders also welcomed guest speaker Lt. Col. Suetterlein.

Anderson fifth graders planned a special Veterans Day program that included music from the Fifth Grade Choir, a special poem reading, and breakfast for veterans.

Thank you, veterans, for your service!

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