Pre-deployment Ball, Part 1

A lot goes on at a Military Ball. Some of it is fun. Some of it is entertaining. Some of it is difficult. Along with all the dancing and dresses and food, there is a lot of formality. There is an order of operations that must be done. Toasts to be made, Tributes to be made, Lives to remember.

“The Tribute to the Fallen” is always hard. Each item on the table represents something to remember about our fallen Comrades. For me,the hardest part is the salt. Something so simple, something most don’t think about, but on that table, salt has a another meaning. Each unit does something different, but overall, the message is clear. We are to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and in doing so, cannot celebrate with us that evening.

Fallen Soldier Narrative:
This table, set for one, is small- symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors.

The tablecloth is white, symbolizing the purity of intentions to respond to our country’s call to arms.

The single rose reminds us of the families and loved ones that keep the faith- awaiting the return of our comrades-in-arms.

The bracelet worn upon the wrists of thousands whose unyielding determination demands a proper accounting of our missing.

The Purple Heart and Bronze Star. The symbols of individual sacrifice and courage in the face of the enemy.

A slice of lemon to remind us of their bitter fate.

Spilled salt upon the plate, representing the tears of the children who will never know their touch or the whisper of their voices.

An inverted glass- they cannot toast with us this night.

All of you who served with them and called them comrades, who relied upon their strength, experience, insight, and aid- Remember- for surely they have not forsaken you.


I think I’m gonna leave it here. I ask that you reflect on the lives of the fallen soldiers. Let their sacrifice for your freedom not be committed in vain. They gave their lives so that you could sleep safely on a soft pillow without fear. In honor of them, do something kind for someone else today. These soldiers deserve to know their sacrifice is remembered and honored and helped to make the world better.


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