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Locals tie a ribbon in hopes of unity

FRIENDS GATHER at Watkins Nursery Home and Garden Center Thursday to make red, white,blue and yellow ribbons for give away for Vicksburg residents to wear. From left, Nancy Watkins, Betty Hallberg, Mica Bennett and Emily Bennett prepare about 1,000 ribbons.(The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[9/14/01]Vicksburg residents making red, white and blue ribbons Thursday said they hope the symbols of American freedom will bring people together to fight the enemies who attacked the United States.

“We’ve got to come together as a country and get rid of this enemy,” said Nancy Watkins with Watkins Nursery Home and Garden Center.

Watkins, along with Blanche Millsaps and Mica Bennett, spent most of the day Thursday making red, white and blue ribbons to honor those killed in New York and Washington, D.C. Watkins also accepted donations to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

“Obviously there are people doing so much more,” Watkins said. “We just felt like we should do something.”

The trio said they would keep making the flags and giving them out as long as they had ribbon. Watkins and Millsaps said they hope is that the small symbols will help unite the people of Vicksburg behind President Bush.

“We’ve never seen an enemy like this,” Millsaps said.

Although no one kept an exact count of how many of the 3-inch ribbons the women made around a table in a hot, back corner of the nursery, Watkins thinks they gave out about 1,000 Thursday. They used more than 100 yards of ribbon, three boxes of pins and lots of hot glue to put them together.

Supplies became a problem. They were quickly running out of ribbon and had gone as far as Jackson to find it.

“If you know anybody who’s got any more ribbon let us know,” Millsaps said.

Word spread quickly and they began answering calls from schools and local businesses who want ribbons to wear on their collars.

“We’re going to keep making them and giving them out until we run out,” Watkins said.