MEXICO — This year’s Memorial Day service at the Mexico Greens will feature a new addition to the park: 19 plywood yellow ribbons, each with the name of a current serviceperson from the River Valley.

The project, organized by Rep. Sheryl Briggs, D-Mexico, with the assistance of Gloria Patneaude and Tricia Thurston of the Rumford American Legion, will be created by Mexico Police Explorers adviser Rene Hodsdon and about a half dozen of the Explorers.

Briggs said the idea is an extension of a similar project in Rumford spearheaded by Arthur Boivin who has erected red-white-and-blue shields on lampposts with the names of currently serving soldiers in downtown Rumford.

Briggs said the plywood and yellow paint have been donated for the projects.

Each of the “yellow ribbons” will be attached to a sign post, then installed just below the giant “Town of Mexico” sign and at the rear of the flagpoles at the greens.

“As the soldiers come down, they will be presented with their yellow ribbon,” she said. “It’s important to continue to remind people everyday of what these soldiers are doing for us and of the sacrifices of the families.”

Hodsdon said work should begin on the yellow ribbons early next month. Each roughly 2- by 4-foot ribbon will be painted yellow, then the name and rank of a soldier will be written on it.

“We want to recognize the veterans who are serving,” Hodsdon said. “We wanted to help out the community and get the Explorers involved.”

The town is also targeting Memorial Day, May 30, with the installation of a gray granite stone to be installed with the existing black granite monument at the Greens. It will list servicepeople who have been casualties of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. At that time, the name of Buddy McLain, who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year, will be etched in the new stone. A granite stone in his honor will also be added to the dozens of ground stones with the names of veterans of several wars already there.

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