Florida National University Honors Veterans and Members of the Military by setting “America’s White Table.”

FNU's White Table honors Veterans


Based on Margot Theis Raven’s book America’s White Table, Florida National University set a table with a white tablecloth, a black napkin, a plate with a slice of lemon with salt, a turned-over glass, a white candle, and an empty chair as a tribute to all veterans and members of the U.S. Military.

America's White Table November 12 2012



America’s White Table tells the story of a little girl who helps her mother set a remembrance table in her house honoring her uncle who served in the Vietnam War. The book tells the details and history of the white table tradition.

America's White Table close up table setting

Symbolism of the items of the table:

  • The small table represents the soldier in battle
  • The white tablecloth represents purity of heart
  • The black napkin the sorrow of captivity
  • The white candle, peace
  • The turned-over glass represents the meal that will not be eaten
  • The red rose or ribbon symbolizes the hope that allmissing soldiers will return home someday
  • The lemon represents the missing soldier’s bitter fate
  • The salt, the tears shed by the families, friends, and loved ones waiting for his/her return
  • The empty chair is for the missing soldier(s)

Today at noon (12:00p.m.), Florida National University will have a minute of silence honoring all active duty US Veterans and Military Servicemen/women. We are going to make an announcement asking all to stand during this minute of silence.