Battle Continues Over Yellow Ribbons on Litchfield Green

Sep 25, 2012

Yellow ribbons are back on the town green in Litchfield after being taken down recently by a group that oversees the historic district. The ribbons, which show support of the military, were removed in late summer by the borough warden and burgesses. The members voted to take four of them down without telling town residents who have maintained the ribbons, specifically the families of servicemembers. No reason was given.

Leslie Caron of Bantam has a son serving in the Air Force. She says the Borough violated a compromise they had reached just a couple years ago. "Instead of replacing all of the ribbons we would do five, one for each branch of the service. And it was we thought written in stone. Then in August of this year, four of the five came down without telling anybody. They just decided they didn't want them anymore." When the ribbons were taken down in 2009, the controversy between town residents and the borough attracted national attention. Laurie Parmentier of Litchfield has a son who served with the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.  She says the ribbons have a special meaning for families with loved ones in the service. "It means everything in the world to me.  Especially when they're deployed, its very hard. When they're in harms way you don't know when you'll ever see or hear from them again. But when you're driving by the Green and look at the ribbon you say, 'honey, I'm thinking of you. I love you and I want you home safe.' And that little ribbon is your link to your child." Last week, the Litchfield Board of Selectman sent a letter asking the Borough to reconsider its vote to remove four of the ribbons.  And some town residents are asking the Warden for a special meeting to talk about the issue. The Borough has yet to respond to the residents or the Board of Selectman.  Meanwhile, the Carons put the ribbons back up this past weekend and so far, they remain tied around five trees that surround a Veterans Memorial in the middle of the town green. She says the ribbons still have meaning in 2012 as the Afghanistan War marks its eleventh year. "I'll be the first one up here to take those ribbons down when the wars are over." Efforts to reach the Borough for comment were unsuccessful.