MELP Book of the Week
America’s White Table
By Margot Theis Raven
The White Table is set in many mess halls as a symbol for and remembrance to service members fallen, missing, or held captive in the line of duty. Solitary and solemn, it is the table where no one will ever sit. As a special gift to her Uncle John, Katie and her sisters are asked to help set the white table for dinner. As their mother explains the significance of each item placed on the table, Katie comes to understand and appreciate the depth of sacrifice that her uncle, and each member of the Armed Forces and their families, may be called to give.
"It was just a little white table... but it felt as big as America when we helped Mama put each item on it, and she told us why it was so important. ‘We use a Small Table, girls,’ she explained first, ‘to show one soldier's lonely battle against many. We cover it with a White Cloth to honor a soldier's pure heart when he answers his country's call to duty. We place a Lemon Slice and Grains of Salt on a plate to show a captive soldier's bitter fate and the tears of families waiting for loved ones to return,’ she continued. ‘We push an Empty Chair to the table for the missing soldiers who are not here...’
We invite you to read, discuss, and share.
The Mamie Eisenhower Library Project (MELP) is the NFRW’s oldest program, celebrating more than 50 years of book donations from an approved list to schools, libraries, hospitals and other public institutions.
Bookplates are mailed to clubs upon receipt of the list of books to be donated. This enables the Literacy Committee to track the numbers and names of books being donated by Republican women across the country.
To request bookplates, clubs should send a list of the books they are donating to Literacy Committee member Cathy Percefull. Include the club name, the title and author of each book, and the address to which the bookplates should be sent. Bookplates will be mailed in return.
The Literacy Committee will provide the state presidents with a list of participating clubs and the number of books they donate each year.
Additions to the MELP Recommended Book List are made periodically, and the committee encourages recommendations from members.
MEMBER TIP: Download past MELP Book Lists by logging in and visiting the Digital Resource Library.