A Simple Sign of a Grateful Heart Can Spread Through Town Quickly
Pick up your yellow ribbons to welcome soldiers home.
The last convoy of American soldiers left Iraq last weekend, and these brave men and women are headed home—some of them to Elmhurst.
So, a group of Elmhurst residents decided to help give them a proper welcome. They spent many hours at Elmhurst Public Library cutting yellow strips that families can tie around their trees as an honor and a thank you to returning service men and women.
The project began last week, when 1st Ward resident Mary O'Connell called her alderman, Paula Pezza, and asked if the city was planning anything to honor returning troops.
"She said she called City Hall and they were not aware of anything, and I told her nor was I," Pezza said. "After we discussed it for a few minutes, we agreed we should do something as a community."
Pezza and other residents gathered at the library to cut yellow plastic tablecloths into strips. About 1,000 were completed as of Tuesday, and they are being distributed to anyone who would like them at three locations:
- Elmhurst Public Library, 125 S. Prospect Ave.
- That Coffee Shop, 124 Park Ave., across from the Metra station
- Elmhurst Photo Boutique, 535 S. Spring Road
Be sure to pick some up and show your appreciation—not just for those returning from Iraq, but for anyone who might be home on leave, like 2005 York graduate Derek Greer. He is returning after a yearlong deployment to Camp Behring, Kuwait. The soldier, who is with the 1/44 Air and Missile Defense Unit, will be welcomed home by his family in Elmhurst on Friday, Dec. 23.
If you would like to share information about your returning family member, contact Karenc@patch.com. If you have photos of a homecoming with your soldier, upload them to this story.