The first time I was present at a missing man ceremony was at a “dining out” hosted by Navy Command Center 106 at the Army Navy Club in Washington, DC in August of 2001 to which I was invited as a personal guest. The guest speaker was Commander Kirk Lippold who was CO of USS Cole.
The missing man table is a moving memory of the evening’s ceremonies, particularly because a few weeks later Navy Command Center 106 took their share of the direct hit when the Pentagon was attacked. These shipmates were awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation for actions during and following September 11 in the finest traditions of the Naval service. Twenty nine were lost.