LITCHFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) – This Veterans Day, a disagreement over yellow ribbons that honor military members is heating up in the town of Litchfield. The local borough board, which oversees the town green, has voted to take down the ribbons over the objections of military service members and their families.
The yellow ribbons honoring the five branches of the military are still hanging at the town center for now. They’re slated to come down in the new year.
“When we’re changing ribbons, we hear horns, ‘thank yous,’ people stop and watch and I think the way this world is right now, anything we can do to bring us together,” said Leslie Caron.
Leslie Caron has maintained a yellow ribbon on the Litchfield town green for the better part of two decades, about as long as her son has been serving in the Air Force.
“Our son has been all over the world. We’ve missed so many holidays and special occasions with him, but he’s dedicated to this country,” Caron said.
She was upset and hurt to learn that in September, the local borough’s Board of Warden and Burgesses, which oversees the town green, voted to remove the ribbons at the start of the new year.
“Those ribbons are to thank our veterans for their service,” Caron said.
Senior Burgess Gayle Carr tells News 8 that to her, it’s a matter of free speech and if the board was to allow yellow ribbons for troops, the same would have to be done for other causes. Carr says borough ordinance dictates there can be no postings of any kind, and the current ribbons were allowed under a special agreement years ago by a previous board after a similar public battle.
She told News 8 over the phone that, “it’s a slippery slope. The ordinance is clear, and frankly the U.S. flag, which flies over the green flies for all of us and for the military.” Carr says she too comes from a family of military veterans and has an appreciation for their service.
For now, the two sides remain at odds.
Caron says they have a lot of support from townspeople and local veterans. They say they’ll refuse to let this ruling stand without a fight.