THE EMPTY CHAIR
Veterans are to be remembered with honor, believes the staff of Worlein Funeral Home of Blooming Prairie and Austin.
Just two weeks ago, The Empty Chair, made its debut at funeral services at First Lutheran Church of Blooming Prairie for military veteran Joe Wurst of Blooming Prairie.
The Empty Chair was placed alongside pews that held veterans making up an Honor Guard and a group of current and retired members of the Blooming Prairie Fire Department.
Mary Kittelson, community services director for Worlein, says The Empty Chair is a visual symbol of respect, gratitude and appreciation. It honors and represents the unique sacrifices made by veterans and their families, she said.
Traditionally at military funerals, Worlein kept a chair empty in the military escort section.
"We felt that most individuals attending a service of a veteran were unaware of the significance of this empty chair," said Kittelson.
Kittelson and director Dan McRaith were visiting one day about The Empty Chair and expanded on the idea of bringing more meaning to this part of a military honors service.