On Friday, November 9, Werner Enterprises honored its veteran associates with a ceremony in the main lobby of their Omaha global headquarters. Werner President and COO Derek Leathers spoke at the event honoring the sacrifices made by the men and women serving in our military.
As part of the ceremony, Leathers explained the significance of the symbolic "table for one" tradition that honors the memory of all prisoners of war and those missing in action.
The honor table is our way of symbolizing the fact that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly called POW/MIA. We call them Brothers and/or Sisters. They are unable to be with us today and so we remember them because of their incarceration.
- The small round table represents our everlasting concern.
- The table is set for one, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors.
- The white tablecloth symbolizes the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms.
- The single red rose reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades- in-arms who keep the faith awaiting their return.
- The red ribbon represents our admiration of their will and determination.
- The black ribbon reminds of us of those who will not return.
- The candle represents the light of hope that lives in our hearts and serves to light the way home from their captors and back to a grateful nation.
- The Bible represents strength achieved from faith, helping to sustain those lost from our country founded as one nation under God.
- The faded picture is a reminder to the families that they are loved and missed.
- A slice of lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate.
- The salt upon the bread plate is symbolic of the family's tears as they wait.
- The glass is inverted because they cannot toast with us today but we hope they can tomorrow.
- The chair is empty because they are not with us but we have hope of their return.
Remember, all of you who have served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid and relied upon them. For surely, they have not forsaken you.