Secularizing the 'Missing Man'

 The Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County, Fla., is currently embroiled in controversy after a Bible honoring missing soldiers and prisoners of war was removed from one of the base's dining halls earlier this month.

The Bible was a part of a "Missing Man Table," a tradition in the U.S. Armed Forces meant to honor servicemen who did not return from combat, either because they are missing or prisoners of war. The vacant table is set up in some Armed Forces' dining halls in the U.S., and includes a plain white table cloth, an inverted glass, a single red rose, a yellow ribbon, a candle, a plate with lemon and salt, and a Bible.

The purpose of the Bible is to "[represent] the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God," according to the Air Force Chiefs website.