Listen to this reading of “America’s White Table” by the Columbus Metropolitan Library and join us in honoring the sacrifice made by American prisoners of war and those who remain missing in action. Margot Theis Raven’s heartfelt story of a young girl learning about her uncle’s experience as a POW during the Vietnam War reveals the meaning behind the white table that can be found in the dining halls of the Armed Forces across the nation. Rather than basing the story on one Veteran’s experience, the author instead chose to compile different service members’ acts of heroism during the war to represent all branches of the military.

Extend Your Learning:

Ask questions about this story.

  • What does each item on the table represent?
  • What would you add to the table to honor the brave men and women who have served our country?
  • Can you think of other symbols that you see in your everyday life? What do certain objects mean to you?
  • Why is is important to remember and honor the Americans who were prisoners of war or those who never returned home?
  • Ask a Veteran in your life what the symbolism of the white table means to them.

Visit the National Veterans Memorial and Museum and see what the POW/MIA Table looks like in person. While you’re here, discover stories of service and sacrifice of Veterans from the American Revolution to the present.

Learn more about the POW experience in Vietnam from the firsthand account of Colonel Tom Moe, U.S. Air Force (Retired).

An acrostic poem is a poem where certain letters in each line spell out a specific word or phrase.

Check out this worksheet from Arkansas PBS and try writing your own acrostic poem or draw a picture of a hero in your community.

If you’re one of our central Ohio neighbors, check out the book at your local branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library where the book is widely available! Then come in to the NVMM and learn more about the importance of our POW/MIA Table or any of the other unique Veteran stories that can be found throughout American history. 

WEDS-SUN 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
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The NVMM is Open on MLK Day!

$1 Admission on Jan. 16 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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