LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- Sharing food and togetherness with family and friends has set this day apart in America as one of our most treasured traditions, and groups around Longview marked Thanksgiving with a missing man observance.
The freedom to celebrate it is due to the unselfish service of those in our armed forces over the years. At East Texas homes of Patriot Guard members and veterans organizations, this Thanksgiving day was marked with a lone empty chair, the missing man, remembering those who make thanksgiving possible.
"The family is not fully together unless everyone is here, this table represents the one that's missing from that family," says Army veteran John Ashcraft.
"The guys that are overseas right now fighting for us , are fighting for this, its about our nation as a whole and our freedoms as a whole," says Thanksgiving celebrator Kevin Knapps.
For some , its remembering a current family member serving who could not be home.
"These people go overseas , Afghanistan Iraq, are missing their family time missing their kids missing their parents" says Army mother Carolyn Morton.
For veterans, a remembrance of those who gave their lives for the freedom of this day.
"Somewhere in this worlds there is a lone soldier setting a vigil, and without that soldier we wouldn't be sitting here and having the freedoms that we have," Ashcraft says.
The empty chair was originated at veterans observances as a way to remember prisoners of war , and those listed as missing in action.