Niagara Gazette


November 15, 2012

HAMILTON: The set table and the empty chair - Niagara's youth remembers MIAs


Niagara Gazette —

Not only am I impressed with the quality contributions of time and effort that they have brought to us, but I am also impressed what they do for the veterans who never made it home.

Each year, some area restaurants have offered free meals to veterans on Veterans Day, an excellent way of saying thank you. But the Niagara Falls Ponderosa Restaurant at 8612 Niagara Falls Boulevard goes one step further. There, they have set up a table in honor of our American Prisoners of War and those Missing in Actions who have not yet returned, and Captain Elizabeth Springer’s group ceremoniously stands guard over the set table and the empty seat.

One of the greatest joys that I have is in watching those tearful family members who now have a place to come and reflect back upon the names inscribed upon our standing tables of granite at the monument in the park. But this Veterans Day, it was equaled by the tearful watching the young men and women who stood standing by the table that was set for those who are not yet there, and all of our ability to reflect upon them.

Best regards to Ponderosa manager and Navy veteran Chip Schmidt and his fine crew, as well as to the Niagara Youth Marine Cadets; those who represent our future commissioners.

Contact Ken Hamilton at

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