Stennis International Airport Honors Americans Who Died in Military Service
By Bill Cotter, Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission
MAA President

A “Missing Man Table” has been set up outside the Stennis International Airport Café to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our Country and freedom.  The plaque reads:

MISSING MAN TABLE

  • Table: set for one, is small, symbolizing the frailty of one isolated prisoner.  The table is usually set close to, or within sight of, the entrance to the dining room.  Table is round to represent everlasting concern on the part of the survivors for their missing loved ones.
  • Tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.
  • Single red rose in the vase, signifies the blood that many have shed in sacrifice 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.
  • 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 tonight.
  • Slice of lemon on the bread plate: represents the bitter fate of the missing.
  • Salt sprinkled on the bread plate: symbolic of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.
  • 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.
  • Lit candle: reminiscent of the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation.
  • Empty chair: the missing and fallen aren’t present.