Louisiana Cadets Perform Ceremony for Museum POW/MIA Recognition Day Video
Cadets from the Louisiana Wing’s Pontchartrain Composite Squadron did the honors for the National World War II Museum’s video of the Missing Man Table ceremony commemorating POW/MIA Day on Sept. 15.
Cadet Staff Sgt. Benjamin Felton Joseph, Cadet Airman 1st Class Jade Marie Nicholas, and Cadet Senior Airman Alena Rosalie Gutierrez performed the ceremony at the museum in New Orleans’ Central Business District.
Narrating was Lt. Col. William Hunton, who commanded the Pontchartrain squadron from 2013-2021 before becoming Louisiana Wing inspector general.
Nicholas presented Joseph, standing beside a small round table with an empty chair, with the items used in the ceremony, one by one:
- a black chair cover with the white POW/MIA emblem,
- a white tablecloth,
- a Bible,
- a place setting,
- a bread plate with three lemon slices,
- a salt shaker,
- a black napkin with attached Purple Heart medal,
- a wine glass, a candle and holder with a yellow ribbon attached,
- and a single red rose with a vase and attached yellow ribbon
As Joseph placed each item on the table, Gutierrez stood to his right, holding the POW/MIA flag. At the cadets’ left, Hunton provided an explanation of the symbolism involved in the ceremony.
“As we look upon this empty table,” he said, "do not remember ghosts from the past.
“Remember our comrades.”