Ms. Wylodean Edwards and Mrs. Pat Parrish, members of the Attala County UDC chapter were the guest speakers at the April 6 meeting of the Winston Guards 2643 UDC.
Following the meal, Ms. Edwards and Mrs. Parrish present a very moving program on the “White Table” the program was adapted from the book by Margot Theis Raven. It brought chills and tears to the eyes of all of the members present. Although the book was written just 30 years ago about missing soldiers in the Vietnam War, its meaning can cover soldiers of all wars.
It brought a visual reminder of the sacrifices made by men and women during war.
A small table in the middle of the room was covered with a white cloth and items were placed on it to remind us that many soldiers were unable to join family dinners.
First the white table cloth is to honor a soldier’s pure heart when he answers his country’s call to duty, a lemon slice and grains of salt on a white plate were placed to show a captive soldier’s bitter fate and tears of families waiting for their return. An empty chair is placed for the missing soldiers who are not there. A black napkin is placed to represent the sorrow of captivity or death. An overturned glass is placed for the meal that will not be eaten. A white candle is placed on the table for peace and a red rose in a vase tied with a red ribbon for the hope that all missing soldiers will return someday. Finally to show what each soldier is to all of us, in the grains of salt on the plate the word HERO is written.
As the final part of the program, each member present lit a small candle and placed it on a tray as she called out the name of her ancestor.
Following the program, President Frances Woodruff led the members in the ritual, pledge and salutes to the flags. The singing of the National Anthem, “Go Mississippi” and “Dixie” were led by Theresa Ingram.
After a short business session the meeting was adjourned with members holding hands and singing “Bless Be the Tie.”