By Paul Escajadillo, Associate Shopper Marketing Manager
“Thank you for your service.”
As a veteran, I’m not particularly fond of that phrase, yet I have come to accept it as a way for my colleagues to express appreciation for my background. Many of my fellow veterans feel similarly as we don’t particularly enjoy boasting about our backgrounds.
With Memorial Day upon us, we especially dread hearing that phrase because Memorial Day is not about us veterans. It’s about honoring those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation.
For the third year in a row, all U.S. Clorox locations are actively remembering the true meaning of Memorial Day by setting up Fallen Comrade Tables. This is a military tradition where you prepare a table with a single place setting and an empty chair to honor our brothers and sisters in arms who never came home. In setting each table, a solemn ceremony typically dictates how each remembrance table is set, and we speak the following words as the table is laid:
“The table that stands before you is a place of honor. In setting this table, we acknowledge those missing from our celebration tonight. And we remember them.
- The table is small, and set for one — symbolizing the vulnerability of a lone prisoner against his captors.
- The tablecloth is white — symbolizing purity of intention in responding to the nation’s call to arms.
- The chair is empty, for they are not here.
- The wine glass is inverted — they cannot toast with us this night.
- The slices of lemon — reminding us of their bitter suffering.
- The grains of salt — representing the countless tears of the families.
- The single red rose — reminding us of loved ones who keep the faith awaiting their return.
- The burning candle and yellow ribbon — symbolizing everlasting hope of a reunion with the missing.
Until the day they return home, or find eternal peace, we will remember.”
We welcome all Clorox employees to participate in honoring the memory of the fallen by visiting the tables we’ve set up at all of our U.S. plants and offices in the week leading up to Memorial Day.
I also ask that as you celebrate Memorial Day with family, friends, and Kingsford® charcoal, you take but a moment to reflect on what it means to enjoy our freedoms and liberties, which have been defended by the lives of patriots.