I spent the day with my father (a WWII Naval Aviator) aboard the USS Midway CVN-41, now a museum on the Navy Pier here in San Diego.
It was quite a day for me. And Dad, too, I think.
The picture above was taken in the "Goat Locker", the Chief's Mess.
It is a special table. It is the POW/MIA table.
The sign reads as follows:
This table is a place of honor.
Its solitary setting is a reminder that some of those who defend our country are no longer among us.
The table is small to symbolize the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors.
The tablecloth is white to symbolize the purity of intention to heed their country's call to arms.
The single rose in the vase reminds us of the families and loved ones who keep the faith awaiting our comrades-in-arms' return.
The red ribbon attests to the unyielding determination of thousands who demand a proper accounting of our missing.
The lemon slice upon the bread plate reminds us of their bitter fate.
The salt upon the bread plate is symbolic of their families' tears as they wait.
The glass is inverted as they cannot toast with us tonight.
The seat is empty for those who are not here.
Two old sailors, father and son, back upon a naval vessel, for the first time in 64 and 34 years respectively. It was a 'heavy' day.
And the sight of that table is what touched me most after Dad and I parted.
I paused in reflection of a few guys I knew and the thousands I did not.
The sacrifices of so many patriotic men and women over our history.
I am humbled, proud to be an American, proud to have served and proud to be my father's son.
Catch you later.....