A "Missing Man Table" is a common sight in dining facilities on U.S. military bases. It is supposed to signify service members who are prisoners of war or missing in action.
However, the Missing Man Table at Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County, Fla., is actually missing.
According to FloridaToday.com, the Missing Man Table included a white table cloth, inverted glass, a plate with a lemon and salt, a single rose, a yellow ribbon, and a Bible.
The National League of POW/MIA Families states: "The Bible represents the strength gained through faith in our country, founded as one nation under God, to sustain those lost from our midst."
The Bible was removed earlier this month, sparking controversy, but now the entire Missing Man Table is gone.
“The 45th Space Wing deeply desires to honor America’s Prisoners of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA) personnel,” Patrick Air Force Base commanders wrote in a statement.
“Unfortunately, the Bible’s presence or absence on the table at the Riverside Dining Facility ignited controversy and division, distracting from the table’s primary purpose of honoring POWs/MIAs. Consequently, we temporarily replaced the table with the POW/MIA flag in an effort to show our continued support of these heroes while seeking an acceptable solution to the controversy,” added the commanders.
“After consultation with several relevant organizations, we now intend to re-introduce the POW/MIA table in a manner inclusive of all POWs/MIAs as well as Americans everywhere,” the statement concluded.
The conservative Christian Family Research Council panned the removal of the table and Bible:
"That position not only contradicts Supreme Court precedent that condemns the restriction of speech solely because of its message, it also does a disservice to our ability to remember the stories of American war heroes," it wrote.
Sources: Family Research Council, FloridaToday.com, National League of POW/MIA Families