The Brunswick George T. Files Post 20 American Legion will hold a vigil Friday for the military personnel who are prisoners of war or missing in action.

The vigil will take place at the Joshua Chamberlain statue on upper Maine Street from noon to 1 p.m. The public is welcome to join in a prayer and moment of silence. The post salutes prisoners of war and those missing in action which includes 8,034 military personnel during Korea; 1,723 during Vietnam;

127 during the Cold War and six unaccounted for in the War on Terrorism.

Joe Donahue, Americanism Officer for Post 20, said in a press release that 12 Mainers who went missing during the Vietnam conflict and one Mainer who went missing during the Korean conflict, have yet to be accounted for. The names, ranks, and dates of the 13 Maine servicemen who went missing will be on view during the vigil. The families of two MIAs request that their names not be included.

As part of the vigil, the “Table of One” will be set up. On the table sits a plate and a slice of lemon placed on it, a glass turned upside down, and a red rose in a white vase with a red ribbon tied around it. According to the American Legion website, the table set for one ceremony symbolizes, in part, “the frailty of one prisoner, alone against his or her suppressers. The table cloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms. The single red rose in the vase signifies the blood they may have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. The red rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrade who keep the faith, while waiting their return. The red ribbon on the vase represents the red ribbons worn on the lapels of thousands who demand with unyielding determination a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us tonight. A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate. The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait. The glass is inverted, they cannot toast with us this time. The chair is empty — they are not here.”

According to Donahue the 13 include a service member each from Brunswick, Saco/Auburn, Hallowell, Bryant Pound, Bethel, Standish, Dover-Foxcroft, Portland/ East port, Hall Quarry, Winthrop, Rangeley and two from Gardiner.

For more information, contact Donahue at 725-8431 or [email protected]

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