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The Fallen Comrade Table stands as a reminder of those who are still missing in action and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. The table is set for one, however there are many represented by the single chair.

Photo by Nathan Hanks

Marines pay homage to fallen comrades, family members during holiday season

22 Nov 2016 | Nathan Hanks Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

The months of November and December are filled with events of celebration, including the Marine Corps Birthday Ball and Veterans Day, as well as holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As Marines and civilian-Marines spend time with their families and loved ones, they are reminded that freedom is not free and that it came at a cost.

Lt. Col. Nathaniel Robinson, executive officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, reminds everyone to remember those who are still missing in action, those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and their family members during the upcoming holiday season.

“At events such as the Marine Corps Birthday Ball and Mess Night, Marines pause and pay their respect to those who have blazed the path before them with the observance of the Fallen Comrade Table,” Robinson said.

He explains the significance of each item found at the table.

“A single, lone table draped in black with one empty chair is placed near the entrance so everyone who walks past it never forgets why we are free,” he said. “This signifies all of our fallen comrades who are not with us because they have given the full measure of devotion to our country and to our beloved Corps.”

On top of the table sits a candle.

“This single-lighted candle reminds us of the flame of eternal life so that the memory of our fallen comrades will be with us always,” he said.

A medal, for the one who has been injured in combat, identification tags and dinner setting has its place as well.

“The Purple Heart Medal is displayed to reflect the shedding of blood and the ebb of life in battle,” Robinson continued. “The identification tags, blank, yet they could bear the name of any Marine.

“The dinner setting, inverted, they break bread with us in spirit only,” he said.

While enjoying Thanksgiving dinner or spending time decorating a Christmas tree with family and friends, Robinson challenges everyone to take a moment to remember the families who lost a service member.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany