Cullman Applebee’s Honors POW MIA Veterans


CULLMAN – The Cullman Applebee’s Restaurant loves our veterans. Last Tuesday on Veterans Day, not only did they feed our veterans for free all day, but they also allowed the American Legion and the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary to perform a POW MIA Remembrance Ceremony before opening their doors for business.

“I came out today to set up the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action table,” said Sergeant First Class James Caudle with the National Guard. “The American Legion asked me to come and assist with the ceremony. We try to support our local counterparts such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion with whatever they need help with.”

The Remembrance Ceremony is very symbolic and is set up in a place of honor. The table is set for one person as a way of remembering members of the armed forces who are missing from our lives and are unable to be with us as we share meals together. The following tells more about each of the items on the table and what each thing represents.

  • A small table is set for one person symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors.
  • The tablecloth is white symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.
  • A single red rose is displayed in a vase to remind us of the families and loved ones of our missing comrades who keep faith while awaiting their return. The red in the rose symbolizes the blood that may have been shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of the United States.
  • A red ribbon is tied to the vase and is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn upon the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our missing.
  • A candle that when it is lit symbolizes the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home.
  • A slice of lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate.
  • Salt upon the bread plate is symbolic of the family’s tears as they wait.
  • The glass is inverted because they cannot toast with us
  • The chair is empty because they are not here.

The entire Applebee’s staff gathered around the group of veterans from the American Legion and participated in the ceremony. Full of reverence and curiosity, their hearts were touched as they witnessed this incredible event. Once the group sat down to enjoy a meal together, the waitresses handed out homemade thank you cards from children at Good Hope Elementary to each veteran present. After the doors were opened to the public, they welcomed the visiting veterans and their families like royalty and a wonderful day was had.

If you haven’t had a chance to eat at the Cullman Applebee’s you should stop by and check them out. With such great food and wonderful employees, Applebee’s is here to stay. They are located at 2106 Cherokee Ave SW, Cullman, AL 35055 and their phone number is 256-736-6336.