Students tie towns together with ribbons
Yellow ribbons have become the symbol of the war in Iraq, representing both support for U.S. troops and prayers that they come home soon and safely.
Two Jackson Middle School seventh graders have started a yellow-ribbon campaign that has grown beyond their ability to carry it out. They need help.
Volunteers will gather at 7 a.m. Saturday at the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse in Jackson to begin tying yellow ribbons on utility poles along U.S. 61 from the train depot in Jackson to Auffenberg Auto Park in Cape Girardeau, a distance of several miles.
The students, Columbia Sternickle and Morgan Stout, have turned this into more than a project to show support for soldiers. They have made it into a civics lesson as well.
Sternickle and Stout approached the Jackson Board of Aldermen with their idea and came away with a $200 donation to purchase yellow ribbon. Then they went to the Cape Girardeau City Council to seek permission to put the ribbons up -- which the council quickly approved.
As a result, the girls are bringing Jackson and Cape Girardeau together in a common cause that has deep emotional roots. They are far too young to recall the 10 miles of roses that once graced the highway between the two cities. But they will be remembered for a long time for their effort to make the drive a symbolic memorial.
These students are learning a valuable lesson. In the process, they are teaching the rest of us a thing or two about national pride, civic involvement and volunteerism. Good job.