HALFMOON — As our troops head home from Afghanistan, it is an important time to be reminded of the significance of the yellow ribbon.
Yellow ribbons traditionally represent the message of “Support our Troops.” New York State observes Yellow Ribbon Day to honor current and former members of the United States Armed Forces on April 9 of each year since 2006.
Each year, Yellow Ribbon Day is championed by Carol Pingelski Hotaling, the “Yellow Ribbon Lady,” who began making yellow ribbons to donate to the family members of troops deployed during Operation Desert Storm. NYS Yellow Ribbon Day was originally held at the Saratoga-Wilton Elks and now takes place at the Halfmoon Town Hall.
VFW Post 358 in Ballston Spa buys 72 rolls of yellow ribbon every year for Yellow Ribbon Day. At three county fairs this past summer, Scott Lamb, Cemetery Director at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery handed out flyers to raise awareness, which are printed by Business Products CO. of NE, Inc., a Clifton Park company who has done all Yellow Ribbon Day printing for free for the past 30 years.
Hotaling wants to educate community members on why we put out yellow ribbons and yellow bows which can stay up year-round. The organizers of Yellow Ribbon Day hope it will grow into a National Day of Remembrance.
The next New York State Yellow Ribbon Day is Saturday, April 9, 2022, 11 a.m. at the Town Hall in Halfmoon. They will be accepting donations for NY2 Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. Donations received will be used to send Freedom Boxes to our deployed troops. Blue Star Mothers send Freedom Boxes throughout the year and collect donations year-round.