October 10, 2003
From National League of POW/MIA Families Missing Man Table
and Honors Ceremony
As you entered the area tonight you may have noticed a table at
the front, raised to call your attention to its purpose - it is
reserved to honor our missing loved comrades. Set for six, the empty
places represent our men missing from each of the five services
- Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard - and civilians.
This Honors Ceremony symbolizes that they are with us, here in spirit.
Some here tonight were very young when the Vietnam War began, however,
all Americans should never forget our brave men and women who answered
our nation's call and served the cause of freedom in a special way.
As the Honor Guard places one of the five service covers or a civilian
cap on each empty plate, I would like to ask you to consider their
sacrifices, followed by a moment of silent prayer. I would like
to explain the meaning of the items on this special table. The table
is round - to show our everlasting concern for our men still missing.
The cloth is white - symbolizing the purity of their motives when
answering the call to duty. The single red rose, displayed in a
vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and their loved
ones and friends who keep the faith, awaiting answers. The vase
is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination
to account for our missing. A slice of lemon on the bread plate
is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing
in a foreign land. A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured
by those missing and their families who seek answered. The Bible
represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost
from our country, founded as one nation under God. The glass is
inverted - to symbolize their inability to share this evening's
toast. The chairs are empty - they are missing. Let us now raise
our water glasses in a toast to honor America's POW/MIA's and to
the success of our efforts to account for them.
Oroville Mercury Register, September 28, 1944, March 22, 1945
and April 13, 1945
ROWE COMPLETES GUNNERY SCHOOL
Kingman, Ariz. - Recent graduate of the Kingman Army Air
Field flexible gunnery school, was 21 year-old Pfc. Melvin L.
Rowe, son of Roy N. Rowe of Bangor, Calif. Pfc. Rowe entered
the army at Fresno Feb. 8, 1943. He attended Oroville Union High
MEL ROWE AN AERIAL ENGINEER IN ITALY 15th AAF in Italy
Corporal Melvin L. Rowe, 22 of Oroville, an aerial engineer
on a B-17 Flying Fortress, is now stationed with a 15th army air
force in Italy. The giant bombers of the fifteenth are now engaged
in bombing both tactical and strategic enemy targets and installations
in Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Italy, Austria and Germany.
Their precision bombing has eliminated many of the enemy's much
needed oil refineries and seriously crippled many others. In addition
their blows have materially aided the sensational Russian advance.
ROWE, CPL. MELVIN L. of Bangor MIA over Austria, He
has a wife and 9 month old son. Melvin is the son of Mr. and Mrs.
Roy Rowe of Bangor. He is an Aerial engineer on a B 17, 15th
Air Force Base Italy, began overseas duty Feb. 20, 1945. He has
two brothers in the service, Jack and Gene.
Stu's notes: For a long time, two years, I had Melvin Rowe on
my list as MIA but recently I talked to Merle Johnson, Oroville
High Class of 1948 and a veteran of the Air Force. He told me that
Melvin was never found and that his brother, Jack had just died
last year. Also that a stepson had died in Vietnam. There was less
than a month to go in the War in Europe. So very sad