Beginning on Nov. 5, the Veteran’s Center, along with student veterans, will be tying yellow ribbons around the trees on the quad in honor of men and women currently serving.
“Last year Veteran’s Day fell on a Saturday, so the week prior one of the student veterans put up yellow ribbons. Instead of doing it just around one tree, we decided to do it all around the quad, as a way to educate the UC Davis community about veterans. It lets the community members know that there are service members of all ages doing things we couldn’t imagine,” said Victor Garcia, the Transfer/Reentry Adviser in the Transfer Reentry and Veteran (TRV) Center which is located in Dutton Hall.
Last year, it was one of the student veterans who decided to begin this project, with the help of his fraternity. According to the TRV Center, many assume the ribbons are for Cancer, especially because it is also Breast Cancer Awareness month.
With roots in the song about “The Yellow Ribbon,” the yellow ribbons around the tree are intended to honor those who are currently serving.
“Around her hair she wore a yellow ribbon/ She wore it in the springtime/ In the merry month of May/ And if you ask her why the heck she wore it/ She wore it for her soldier who was far far away,” the song states.
The yellow ribbons are also intended as a symbol of hope for a safe return and a gesture of gratitude.
“These are not for veterans, but for service members who are still in harm’s way,” Garcia said.
The Service Flag design is also tied into the concept, with stars either yellow, gold or blue.
“When a star is blue, it means that someone is currently serving and if they die, the star becomes gold,” Garcia said.
According to a student employee of Veteran’s affairs, the main goal of the TRV Center is to provide educational benefits to veterans and eventually transfer them to UC Davis.
“We act as a liaison between veteran’s affairs at the school. We serve all branches, and are a neutral place for other veterans from other departments.”
Ribbons will be tied around trees on the quad during the week of Nov. 5.
“It is a very sombrous and sobering realism that sets in. That is what we are trying to do with the yellow ribbons,” Garcia said.
– Danielle Huddlestun