Knowing that Memorial Day is not a day of celebration, John Shwiner, adjutant and public relations officer of Wellington’s American Legion Post 390, recognized the “Fallen Soldiers Table” setting when seated for breakfast at Short Stacks on Memorial Day. Mike Foley, owner of Short Stacks in Wellington and Butterfields in Royal Palm Beach explained Maria Caraballo’s tradition of setting of the “Fallen Soldiers Table” at both locations every Memorial Day.
The folded flags on the dinner plate personally memorialize her uncle Anthony T. Fava, who died in combat. Memorial Day is a day of remembering those soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice by dying in combat or POW captivity.
The “Fallen Soldiers Table” typically includes a white tablecloth, showing the purity of their intentions in response to their country’s call to arms. The single rose in a vase signifies the blood they may have shed for freedom. The slice of lemon signifies their bitter fate. The salt is a reminder of the many countless tears of families. The inverted glass shows that they can’t drink with us tonight. And, of course, the chair is empty because they are not here.
Shwiner joined the staff at Short Stacks and Butterfields to pay their respects to Caraballo’s “Fallen Soldiers Table.” He was honored to learn that Caraballo was president of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary Post 1768 in Mount Vernon, New York, prior to transferring to Wellington.