Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Ribbons signify positive thoughts

April 2, 2003

The yellow ribbons can't mend war's strife.

But for the men and women who are serving in the military, and for their families and loved ones, as well as for all of us who are concerned, they may bring some comfort.

For many of us, displaying the yellow ribbons, or the American flag, is not a lot to do, but it's all we can do.

Especially now, when military officials ask that we not send letters and packages, except to those with whom we are close. Instead, we're advised to communicate by e-mail when possible.

Like the prayer chains that circle the globe, the yellow ribbons signify positive thoughts for loved ones and, it is hoped, help generate more positive thoughts. Along with that, of course, is the hope of peace.

Tuesday morning, hundreds gathered along Fourth Street to pose for a picture while standing near a very large yellow ribbon.

Although there was little time for planning the photo, word got around and by shortly before 9 a.m., a crowd began to gather downtown. Students from Tonganoxie elementary and junior high schools, as well as from Genesis Christian Academy, added to the group, but even without them there would have been several hundred in attendance. The group included families of those who are in the military, as well as those who know war all too well -- members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and of the American Legion.

The photograph is on the front page of this week's edition of The Mirror. It's also on The Mirror's Web site, which we know, having read Thomas Innis' recent e-mailed letter from Iraq, that some in the service are reading their hometown newspapers online. We hope, if they do see the picture of their community members standing with a yellow ribbon to show support, it will bring comfort.

Those in the service may be temporarily gone from us, but they are not forgotten.

Whether each of us supports the war, I believe we all want our men and women to come home. As well, we want to live in a world where other countries treat citizens with respect, dignity and allow them to share in the tremendous gift of freedom.

As many of our readers have expressed, there is little we can do but hope, and pray.

And perhaps, while we're at it, take the time to hang a yellow ribbon or two.

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