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Yellow Ribbon campaign revived in Bridgewater

Bridgewater Legion president Wayne Thorburne, West Nova Scotia Regiment Honorary Col. Don Downe, Town of Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell and Maj. Craig Bradshaw of the 14 Construction Engineering Squadron, attach the first of over 100 yellow ribbons in Bridgewater on Tuesday, July 17.
Bridgewater Legion president Wayne Thorburne, West Nova Scotia Regiment Honorary Col. Don Downe, Town of Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell and Maj. Craig Bradshaw of the 14 Construction Engineering Squadron, attach the first of over 100 yellow ribbons in Bridgewater on Tuesday, July 17. - Dan Hennessey

The iconic image of a yellow ribbon attached to a tree has been the symbol that represents the strength, resiliency and support of the military members and their families for decades. The yellow ribbon has been a part of honouring the military for generations, but regained its popularity during the Gulf War in the early 1990s. There have been songs written about the yellow ribbon and movies made, all with the same underlying sentiment of hope. The early displays of the yellow ribbon would be for family members of deployed members who would attach a yellow ribbon on a tree or porch for the duration of their deployment. This showed that a family member was serving their country and also acted as their way of hoping for the safe return of their loved ones.

The Greenwood Military Family Resource Centre at 14 Wing in Greenwood, reached out to Bridgewater in hopes to secure ribbons to kick-start a program that had happened in the town for many years. The supplies were delivered, and with special permission from Mitchell and the town of Bridgewater, the campaign took place on July 17, one week prior to the South Shore Exhibition Parade that would follow the route of ribbons along King Street.

The first yellow ribbon with a Canadian Flag in the middle was attached to a street light on the Veterans Memorial Bridge with Mitchell, Downe, Thorburne and Commanding Officer of 14 Construction Engineering Squadron, Major Craig Bradshaw doing the honours. Once the first ribbon went up, a team of members of 14 Construction Engineering Squadron worked both sides of King Street, installing over 100 ribbons on poles, street light, and of course, the iconic yellow ribbon on several trees.

The hope for the organizers is that the residents and visitors of Bridgewater will see the symbol and reflect of the tremendous sacrifices that the military makes in defense of Canadian freedom and their families that are home, longing for their safe return. Take a moment and thank a member of the military. The simple sentiment means a great deal.

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