By BRET NYE
For The Courier
TIFFIN — Amid the clatter of glasses and the low buzz of people speaking on dozens of TVs at once, a moment of reverence was observed Sunday afternoon at Buffalo Wild Wings in Tiffin.
At 1 p.m., the Seneca County United Veterans Council dedicated a table at the restaurant in honor of prisoners of war and veterans missing in action.
After an opening prayer given by a member of the council, another member, Jody O’Millian, explained the significance of the items on the table.
“The table is set for one, symbolizing the fact that members of our armed forces are missing from our ranks,” he said.
“We call them comrades,” he continued. “They are unable to be with their loved ones and families, so we join together to pay humble tribute to them, and to bear witness to their continued absence.”
O’Millian went on to describe the meaning of the other items gathered on the table, which include a single rose in a vase signifying the blood the veterans may have shed in sacrifice, and a red ribbon wrapped around that vase, signifying an “unyielding determination, for a proper accounting or our comrades who are not among us.”
A small American flag also sits on the table, and a POW/MIA flag covers the back of the empty chair.
Mike Mastro, co-franchisee of the restaurant along with his wife Lori, said he was honored to have the Seneca County United Veterans Council dedicate the table.
“It’s a reminder of all the people who didn’t make it back from war, and a reminder of the struggles they’ve been through,” Mastro said.
“We truly thank the United Veterans Council for the tremendous honor of having the table here, and it’ll be a permanent part of Buffalo Wild Wings here in Tiffin,” he said.
“And nobody will ever sit at that table.”
Bret Nye is a reporter for the Advertiser-Tribute. Contact him at email@example.com.