POW/MIA Chair and Table at the Portsmouth, Rhode Island Town Hall


"You Are Not Forgotten"

 POW/MIA Chair donated by Rolling Thunder, Inc., RI Chapter 1 at the December 8th Town Council Meeting and the POW/MIA Table was added November 18, 2015 by Carolyn Evans-Carbery (Project Blue Star), Harry Church and Chuck Peterson (VFW, Post 5390).


The Meaning of the Items on the POW/MIA Table

  • The white tablecloth draped over the table represents the purity of their response to our country’s call to arms.
  • The empty chair depicts an unknown face, representing no specific Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine, but all who are not here with us.
  • The table itself is round to show that our concern for them is never ending.
  • The Bible represents faith in a higher power and the pledge to our country, founded as one nation under God.
  • The black napkin stands for the emptiness these warriors have left in the hearts of their families and friends. A Purple Heart medal can be pinned to the napkin.
  • The single red rose reminds us of their families and loved ones. The red ribbon represents the love of our country, which inspired them to answer the nation’s call.
  • The yellow candle and its yellow ribbon symbolize the everlasting hope for a joyous reunion with those yet accounted for.
  • The slices of lemon on the bread plate remind us of their bitter fate.
  • The salt upon the bread plate represent the tears of their families.
  • The wine glass, turned upside down, reminds us that our distinguished comrades cannot be with us to drink a toast or join in the festivities of the evening.



11/4/2015 Rep. Malik dedicates POW Chair at State House ceremony
STATE HOUSE – House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jan P. Malik lead a ceremony dedicating a new war memorial at the State House honoring Rhode Island’s POW and MIA military veterans on Nov. 3.  The memorial is a “Chair of Honor” that will always remain empty, honoring Rhode Island’s veterans who never returned home after combat service. 

“This symbol will remind all who enter the State House of these heroes’ tragic sacrifice fighting for our cherished way of life.  91,000 of these courageous American warriors became MIA or POW’s since WWI.  This remembrance is for them, and especially for the 46 Rhode Islanders among their eternal ranks,” said Representative Malik (D-Dist. 67, Warren, Bristol).  “I’d like to thank Rolling Thunder for creating this most worthy tribute to our servicemen who never made it back to our country’s shores.  Although their bodies may have been lost, their spirits and sacrifices will never be forgotten.”

The “Chair of Honor” is a POW/MIA memorial created and donated by the veterans group Rolling Thunder.  Rolling Thunder, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with over 100 chartered chapters throughout the United States.  Other “Chairs of Honor” installations are underway in Rhode Island and have already been installed in Gillette Stadium, TD Garden, Fenway Park and the Massachusetts State House.

Rep. Malik shaking hands with Rolling Thunder RI Chapter Vice President James McLaughlin at the POW Chair dedication ceremony at the State House