Around the country on Friday, you’ll likely see the iconic black and white POW-MIA flag flying over federal buildings. At military bases, there will be ceremonies with troops in dress uniforms marching and leaders speaking.

At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will oversee a ceremony that will conclude with a flyover by warplanes and helicopters in honor of the 83,000 known service members still listed as prisoners of war or missing in action.

But not every remembrance of those Americans will include such pomp and activity.

If you were to walk through the mess hall of a Navy ship or an Army installation, you might see a small table covered in a simple cloth. One chair sits in front of a single formal place setting. On the plate, salt and a slice of lemon. Next to the plate, a glass vase containing a red rose with a red ribbon around the base.

This silent tribute is full of symbolism.

The table is round “to show our everlasting concern” according to the National League of POW/MIA Families website.

Source: Larry Shaughnessy for CNN.

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