Missing Aviator (Table) Ceremony

Missing Aviator (Missing Soldier, Missing Sailor) Table and Ceremony

The following ceremony uses some traditional aspects of other “Missing Comrades or Fallen Soldier” ceremonies, and adapts them for use suitable for the Air Force Association of Canada. The text is presented as if it were being read by a Master of Ceremonies (MC). Often-times there is scope for setting three places (one for each armed service). This explains references to “three plates, each with a lemon slice”, for example. For our purposes, use only one setting if your occasion calls for setting up only one place and one seat for the “Missing Aviator”.
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. Please rise for the playing of O’ Canada, and remain standing for the Missing Aviator Table Ceremony. This evening as we join together to enjoy one another’s company, we pause and pay tribute to those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in war and peace so that we may enjoy the freedom that they sought to ensure for us. Their earthly remains still lay today near to where they fell, throughout the world, in cemeteries, on battlefields, and in countless resting places known only to God. Before we begin I would like to draw your attention to the small table located in a place of honour in front of the head table. This is our way of remembering that many fellow aviators are missing this evening from our midst. They are our brothers and sisters who are unable to return to those whom they love, so we remember them.
Camarades perdus, heros tombes: Bonsoir Mesdames et Messieurs. Levez vous pour l’hymne nationale du Canada et restez debout pour la ceremonie de table des camarades perdus. Ce soir nous sommes venus ensemble pour se tenir compagnie it cette soiree. Nous prenons un temps de reflexon pour rendre hommage it ces hommes et femmes qui ont fait Ie sacrifice ultime en temps de guerre et paix afin que nous puissions profiter de la liberte. Leurs corps se reposent dans les cimitieres, sur les champs de batailles et dans beaucoup d’autres endroits qui ne sont connus que par Dieu lui-meme. Avant que nous ne commencions, j’aimerais attirer votre attention sur la petite table placee devant la table d’honneur. Cela est notre fa~on de symboliser Ie fait que plusieurs membres de notre profession sont manquants ce soir. lIs sont nos freres et nos soeurs qui ne pourront retourner it ceux et celles qui les aiment …. nous nous souvenons.
The table is small symbolizing the frailty of our chosen profession; The tablecloth is white symbolizing the purity of our comrades’ intentions when they answered our country’s call to arms; The single rose displayed in the vase reminds us of their families and loved ones; The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is symbolic of the blood they have shed so that we may enjoy freedom; The slice of lemon is set on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate; The salt upon the bread plate is symbolic of the family’s tears as they wait for someone who will not return; The glass is inverted for they cannot toast with us this evening; Other chairs are drawn away from the table, for they are not here in body but they are with us in spirit; At this point the appropriate head-dress (air force cap, or wedge, or air force association wedge cap) is slow-marched into the room. The individual places the headress on the table and takes one step back and bows their head till they hear the last post.

La petite table symbolise la fragilite de notre profession choisie. La nappe blanche symbolise la purete des intentions de nos camarades quand ils ont repondu it l’appel pour servir notre pays. La rose placee dans Ie vase nous rappelle de leurs familIes et bien-aimes. Le ruban rouge attache au vase symbolise Ie sang verse grace auquel nous profitons de notre liberte. Le citron placee sur l’assiette it pain represente leur destin amer. Le sel sur l’assiette symbolise les larmes des families alors qu’elles attendaient quelqu’un qui n’allait pas revenir. Le verre est it l’envers parce qu’ils ne peuvent pas faire sante avec nous ce soir. II n’y a pas de chaises parce qu’ils nous accompagnent seulement en esprit.
The MC then reads: “For they shall not grow old as we who are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.”
The LAST POST is played, followed by a minute of silence, then the Lament is played, followed by REVEILLE. At this point the MC will say: Please be seated and I hope enjoy the rest of the evening.

A ce point un quel qu’un portant le chapeau approprie pour le service affiliation de l’individu marche lentement dans la salle une it fa fois pendent que la citation de chacun est fu. Une fois que tous les trois sont present it la table, les chapeaux sont place sur la table. lIs font un pas en arriere et baisse la tete. MC: «For they shall not grow old as we who are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember.” Les cadets saluent pendant Ie « LAST POST» et gardent la position jusqu ‘it la minute de silence. Le« lament» est joue. Le salut est maintenu jusqu ‘au «reveille» (it la fin du silence. )Les cadets tournent et marchent lentement hors de la salle. lIs retournent it leurs sieges. MC : Assoyez-vous en esperant que vous aimerez la fin de cette soiree.

At the conclusion of the evening, the MC will say: All rise for the conclusion of our Fallen Aviator Table Ceremony, and the playing of God Save the Queen. The individual designated to retrieve the hat will be slow-marched into the dining room, will come to a halt at the table, bow his or her head, salute, retrieve the hat, and slow-march out of the dining room. At this point the MC will raise a toast to the Queen of Canada, and God Save the Queen will then be played.
A la fin de la soiree Ie MC dit: Levez-vous pour la conclusion de notre ceremonie, et la chanson de « God Save The Queen» Les trois cadets marcheront lentement dans la salle dans le meme ordre qu ‘au debut de la ceremonie. Quand les trois seront arrives it la table, ils feront un salut et reprendront les chapeaux, tourneront et marcheront lentement hors de la salle. Apres Ie dernier cadet soit sorti, «God Save The  Queen» sera joue.


1 small (round) table
1 white table cloth
1 single red rose in a vase with a red ribbon tied around the vase placed in the
middle of the table
3 plates with a lemon slice on each plate
1 salt shaker beside the rose
3 (wine or water) glasses placed beside the plates inverted
No additional chairs. The table should be placed on either side of the head table, if no head table it should be placed up at the front of the room by the podium. Alternatively, it may be placed in the centre of all the tables, biased toward a head table indicating its importance.

3 Senior Cadets or associatin members in full dress uniform, with white gloves and carrying appropriate head dresses. (Normally we may pay tribute only to fallen aviators, but on occasion it may be possible to pay tribute to fallen aviators, soldiers and sailors, meaning all three headdress versions will be needed).
MC and PMC if desired.
1 person to cue music

La table
• une petite table
• une nappe blanche
• une rose dans un vase avec un ruban rouge attache
autour du vase (placee au milieu de la table)
• trois assiettes avec un morceau de citron sur chaque
• une saliere a cote du vase
• trois verres place a l’envers a cote des assiettes.
• Pas de chaises
La table devrait etre placee d’une cote de la table
d’honneur. S’il n’y a pas de table d’honneur elle peut
etre placee pres du podium.
Les personnes impligues
• trois cadets avance en uniform complet avec les
gants blancs et les chapeaux appropries
• MC et PMC ( si necessaire)
• une personne pour jouer la musique


• Last Post
• Lament
• La Reveille
• God Save The Queen