The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer VFW serves up Thanksgiving feast


November 24, 2017

Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

BESSEMER VFW Post 3673 set up one place setting for the missing Thursday in Bessemer. John Frello said more than 82,000 missing remain unaccounted for on foreign soil.


Bessemer - Bessemer VFW Post 3673 sent out word it was providing free Thanksgiving meals to area veterans and their families and veterans service officer John Frello said more than 200 people responded.

Frello said, "The response has been overwhelming. We had no idea it would be so well received."

All told, more than 30 volunteers prepared over 200 pounds of turkey and over 100 pounds of ham. More than 60 pounds of sweet potatoes were prepared and over 150 pounds of mashed potatoes were squashed, stirred, buttered and whipped. Desserts were donated, baked and prepared by a cadre of volunteers. Top performer Judy Ruditis baked 23 pies.

There was a 24th pie, but an unexpected trip sent it flying, so 23 would have to do. Ruditis said she prepared peanut butter, pumpkin chiffon, blueberry, cherry and pumpkin pies for the event. It is unknown what kind of pie flew away and escaped the fate of the other pies.

Before food was served, Post 3673 recognized members of the military and their families who were not eating on Thanksgiving because of their statuses as Missing in Action. Frello said more than 82,000 military members remain unaccounted for today.

The missing are still pursued on a daily basis and are not forgotten by their families, their respective branches of the military, nor members of the Pentagon tasked with the mission.

A table was set for the missing at the head of Post 3673 and Frello read a document describing why the setting looked the way it did:

-The table is round to show the everlasting concern for the missing.

-The table cloth is white to signify the purity of the motives of those absent.

-A single rose is on the table for the lost and loved ones keeping faith in their return.

-A vase with a red ribbon tied around it is for the continued determination to account for the missing.

-Salt on the plate represents the tears endured by those missing family members.

-A lemon slice is for the bitter fate of the loved ones missing in a foreign land.

-A Holy Bible represents the strength and devotion to sustain those lost.

-An inverted glass is for those missing and unable to share in a toast.

-And the absence of a chair is because the missing are not present to share the meal.


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