Candlelight Ceremony honoring troops to be held in Manassas

To show support for the troops fighting in Iraq, a Yellow Ribbon Candlelight Ceremony is planned at the Loy E. Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas on April 11 at 7 p.m.

The evening events will include an address by Manassas Mayor Marvin Gillum, a presentation by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a prayer for the troops and their families and an area band either a military band or the Osbourn High School Marching Band playing patriotic music.

Members of the Manassas City Council, Manassas Park City Council and the Prince William Board of County Supervisors have been invited by organizers Maureen Wood and Donna Dailey, two Manassas residents.

The two are hopeful that upward of 1,000 supporters will show up with their candles. They are also encouraging area families and businesses to display yellow ribbons.

“Throughout the beginning days of the war, I was disheartened by the media coverage of all the anti-war protesters around the country,” Dailey said.

“Regardless of whether you agree with the reasons behind the war, we are a free society, and must support our troops that are ultimately fighting for the Iraqi people’s freedom, but also for our freedom.”

Wood agreed.

“I feel that in light of the war that we’re fighting with Iraq, the American people need to show support by displaying yellow ribbons. I was saddened to hear that the troops were constantly wanting and needing to be reassured that they were receiving a strong and warm backing from the people here at home, not like those that came back from Vietnam,” she said.

“By displaying yellow ribbons, we as American people, can show that we do need and support them during our time of war. That’s how Donna and I came up with the idea to have the ceremony,” said Wood.

Dailey and Wood both have friends or relatives involved in the war.

“We both wanted to do something to show our support for the troops, comparing notes on the war coverage. Wood came up with the idea to begin making yellow ribbons to display and I felt a candlelight ceremony would be appropriate. Our ideas merged, and a yellow ribbon candlelight ceremony to support the troops began,” said Dailey.

The event won’t be the first time the flicker of candlelight is seen at the pavilion.

A one-year anniversary gathering, honoring the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon, was conducted at the pavilion and drew an overflow crowd.

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