The 11th of November 2018 marked 100 years since the armistice of The Great War of 1918.
In Adelaide South Australia, the event was commemorated with a magnificent State Dinner hosted by The Department of Premier and Cabinet, Veterans SA, at the Adelaide Town Hall.
Part of the etiquette of such an occasion is one which I find overwhelmingly powerful, not only due to my own connections as a Navy veteran, but quite simply due to the acknowledgement of respect and remembrance.
I speak of ‘The Table of the Fallen’.
One table in the room where nobody will sit; where no food will be served and where no drinks will be consumed. One table where, for those who came before us, their presence in spirit will always serve to honour their ultimate sacrifice.
This table is set within sight of the entrance to the dining room. The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms and lit with a single candle to represent the light of hope and illuminate their way home. The single red rose to signify the blood that many have shed in sacrifice and the red ribbon to represent the love of their country.
A slice of lemon on the bread plate to represent the bitter fate of the missing and the salt sprinkled on the bread plate being symbolic of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.
The inverted glasses to represent the fact that they cannot partake and the empty chairs to signify that the missing and fallen are not in our presence.
Let We Forget.