Yellow Ribbons Welcomed Soliders Home from Afghanistan - Tie One on for Troops
Winnipeggers were invited to tie one on for their soldiers—yellow ribbons, that is.
It’s just one of several events being planned as the city and its residents prepare to welcome their troops home from Afghanistan—the first tour of war duty in 50 years.
“If people want to tie yellow ribbons, that is great," Capt. Shawna Bruce, a military spokeswoman, said yesterday.
“It would mean an awful lot for the soldiers if people put yellow ribbons up”.
Next week, about 180 Manitoba-based soldiers –140 from the Winnipeg-based Second Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and 40 from the First Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery based at CFB Shilo – will return from their six months of duty in Operation Apollo in Afghanistan.
Millitary families decorate Kapyong Barracks Winnipeg, MB with Canadian flag & yellow ribbon fabric donated by fashion mogul Peter Nygård.
Yellow ribbons and other decorations are beginning to go up at Kapyong Barracks at Grant Avenue and Kenaston Boulevard.
Bruce said families of soldiers began decorating the drill hall yesterday with help from clothing manufacturer Peter Nygård, who is lending the military one of his company’s huge Canadian flags to hang on the wall.
“That’s was very nice of him. The first thing the soldiers will see when they enter the drill hall will be that Canadian flag” she said.
And the yellow ribbons don’t end at the base. Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service spokesman Robin Alford said that starting this weekend, 67 fire and ambulance vehicles will be flying yellow ribbons while 33 fire stations and offices will have ribbons on the front doors.
“I know when I was in the military was appreciated,” Alford said “When I came back from the Gulf, there was yellow everywhere. I know it makes the soldiers feel appreciated.”
Diane Poulin, Mayor Glen Murray’s spokeswoman, said the city will begin thanking the troops today when the Public Works department erects a welcome-home banner at St. James Bridge on Route 90, the route the soldiers will take on their way from the airport to the Kapyong Barracks.
Poulin said the public can show its thanks at a free ceremony at the Winnipeg Convention Centre on Aug. 7 at 3 p.m.
"Representatives of the three levels of government have been invited,” Poulin said.
“The Mayor will return the PPCLI flag to the regiment. We’ve been flying it at Portage and Main since the soldiers left for the Afghanistan.”
Even a local hotel is gearing up to thank the soldiers.
Tracy Moshenko, of the downtown Radisson Hotel, said the hotel is offering, with the military blessing, special romance packages for soldiers and their loved ones. Deals include a king-size bed, champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, a bathrobe and breakfast for two in bed.
Winnipeg North-St. Paul MP Rey Pagtakhan, the minister of veteran affairs, said he’ll fly directly from a cabinet meeting in Ottawa to attend the Convention Centre ceremony.
“Whatever it takes, I will be there,” he said. “The Canadian people are grateful for their service.”