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The Magnetic Yellow Ribbon

The first oral record of tying a yellow ribbon dates back to a song written 400 years ago. Now used in a popular US military marching song, a variation of that original song goes like this:

Around her neck she wore a yellow ribbon
She wore it in the springtime
And in the month of May
And if you ask me why the heck she wore it
She wore it for her soldier who was far far away.

Though its meaning has changed over the years, the magnetic yellow ribbon stuck to back of automobiles across America is often displayed to show support for the war in Iraq. In Seattle, it has a different message among our liberal community.


Elizabeth Falzone,32, Seattle
The yellow ribbon growing up always meant that you were supporting the troops who were fighting overseas, who were fighting for this country. My yellow ribbon that’s on my car now is a reminder of the sacrifice that they all make. People will say they’re dying for our freedom but I just keep thinking they’re out there giving their own freedom away.

My cousin Lieutenant David Jimo was killed on August 12, 2005. Its so personal. Its just a symbol of hope that our troops can come home and be with their families and be able to experience love the way we’ve all been taught what love is. Everyone should be able to experience that everywhere. So just bring the troops home. Just bring ‘em home.”

Wally Rotermund, 62, Woodinville( in photo above )
I served in the military in the ‘60’s, from ’64 to ‘66. The guys that were in Vietnam weren’t treated like they are today. I say prayers for ‘em (the troops) everyday.

There’s people that are losing their lives for our country so people can protest against the war. Last year I seen people protesting on Christmas Day in Lake Forest Park. We might not be in favor of the war but you have to go where your Commander in Chief sends you.”

Arline Hinckley, 61, Hawthorne Hills
We put the ribbon on the back of our car the last day before our nephew went to Iraq. …

We both agreed that although we do not support the war, we needed that sticker on there. I think the other stickers on the car suggest that we don’t support the war, and I want people to know that you can support the troops very enthusiastically without supporting the war. There’s a pro-choice sticker, a Kerry sticker, and a Hemlock Society sticker.”

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