Hospice of Central Ohio recently paid tribute to Veterans as part of the American Pride program at Licking Memorial Hospital.
The American Pride program is designed to honor and celebrate the service of Veterans. Commander Jim Watercutter and other members of the Veteran Alliance of Newark participated in the November event honoring staff members and volunteers who are also Veterans.
Hospice of Central Ohio President and CEO Kerry Hamilton, pictured left, officiated. The program recognized the service of staff and volunteers with the presentation of American Pride challenge coins. Licking Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Office Robert Montagnese (right) was also honored for his service with an American Pride challenge coin presentation.
In addition to recognizing the service of Veterans, the event included the dedication of a "Missing Man" table display. The table serves as a ceremonial remembrance of comrades in arms who remain "missing." The symbolism of the table is multi-fold:
- The tablecloth is white — symbolizing the purity of motives when a member of the armed services answers the call of duty.
- The single red rose, displayed in a vase, is a reminder of the blood shed in sacrifice to preserve American freedom
- The vase is tied with a yellow ribbon, signifying the continued determination to account for the missing.
- A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.
- A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of the bitter fate of those who remain unaccounted.
- The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.
- The glass is inverted to symbolize the inability of those missing to share a toast.
- The chair is empty. The missing and fallen are unable to be present.
“Our American Pride program reflects our commitment to recognize not only the Veterans we serve through Hospice of Central Ohio, but every Veteran in our community," said Hamilton. “Honoring their service is in keeping with our mission and our commitment to this community.”
For information about American Pride or Veteran care at Hospice of Central Ohio, please call 740.788.1400.