Excerpt from a speech given by Ron Anderson at the Annual Veterans Dinner
“You may have noticed the small table set for one that is off on its own – it is reserved to honour our fallen comrades in arms. This symbolizes that they are with us, here in spirit. We should never forget the brave men and women who answered our nation’s call [to serve] and served the cause of freedom in a special way. We are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice. We are compelled to never forget that while we enjoy our daily pleasures, there are others who have endured the agonies of pain, deprivation and death.
I would like to explain the meaning of the items on this special table.
- The table is round – to show our everlasting concern for our fallen comrades.
- The tablecloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.
- The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of our fallen comrades, and the loved ones and friends of these comrades who keep the faith.
- The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to remember our fallen comrades.
- A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those who will never return.
- A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by the families of those who have sacrificed all.
- The glass is inverted, they cannot toast with us at this time.
- The chair is empty because they are no longer with us.
Let us remember – and never forget their sacrifice.
May they and their families ever be watched over and protected