Yellow ribbon service honors troops

Terri Johnson watched from the front door of the U.S. Inn in Triangle as motorcyclists and pedestrians gathered in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial at Quantico Marine Corps Base.

When she learned the 100 or so people had come to town for a yellow ribbon ceremony she said good for them.

“I think it’s cool,” said Johnson, a hotel worker.

“It’s honoring the Marines who are going to war, but it’s kind of sad too,” Johnson, 26, said Saturday morning as people circled the hotel parking lot looking for spaces.

Duane Hapner, who organized the event and describes himself as an “ordinary American,” spoke as rain showers fell on the crowd, stopped and started again.

Hapner urged people to tie yellow ribbons everywhere.

“Tie them on your mailbox, your doors, a tree in your front yard, but show support for your troops,” he said.

Hapner said he also wanted to take the opportunity to send a message to service members overseas.

“Be safe. Be strong. Be vigilant. Be victorious and come home safe,” Hapner said in case the troops got word of the ribbon ceremony in Triangle.

Sheila Talbott brought her 10-year-old son Drew, who is a member of the Young Marines, and used the ceremony as a lesson.

“Freedom isn’t free,” Talbott said.

“Our kids are learning that they need, now more than ever to show support for our troops,” she said.

Suanne Davis came to the ceremony to show support for her son, Lt. Christopher Davis, a Marine who is deployed to fight in the desert.

She said she had hoped to see more people come to the ceremony.

“It was nice,” she said.

“I would have liked to seen more participation, but it will be nice to see the ribbons on the trees,” Davis said of the ribbons the people at the ceremony intended to tie on the trees on Joplin Road, leading to the Quantico front gate and around the towns of Dumfries and Quantico.

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