MOUNT AIRY — Though the Persian Gulf war is being waged thousands of miles away, residents will get a chance to show support for U.S. troops fighting Iraq at a Feb. 2 rally here.
On Monday, the Town Council proclaimed Saturday, Feb. 2, as a day of "appreciation and support" for members of the U.S. armed services at war in the gulf.
The town is planning a "gigantic pep rally," Mayor Gerald R. Johnson Jr. said. The program starts at 4 p.m. in Watkins Park, where residents and family members of troops serving in the gulf will get the chance to offer messages of support for U.S. troops.
Bands and choirs will perform at the rally, which will conclude with a bonfire, the mayor said.
"This is in no way endorsing the war, because there's not a one of us that wants war," said Johnson. "But since the decision has been made (for war), it's the least we can do to be 110 percent behind them."
The event and messages to the troops from family members will be videotaped, the mayor said, with copies forwarded to personnel in the gulf.
"We're hoping the war will be over by then andthat this (rally) will be a thank-you," Johnson said, noting the idea for the rally came from Katie Fetzer, planning and zoning clerk.
Also, the mayor announced that Town Hall is selling bows for residents to hang on their homes as a show of support for the troops. Yellowbows can be purchased for $4, and red, white and blue bows for $5.
"It's my hope that each and every home will have one or both of these (ribbons) affixed to their home," the mayor said.
Any profits from sales of the bows -- made for the town by Main Street florist Flowers R Fancies -- will be used to pay for sending care packages and videotapes to troops.
The rally will be open to anyone from the area, and not limited to residents.
Councilman William E. Wagner Jr. said he hopes people would participate in the rally, despite whateverfeeling they may have about the war.
"Even if you don't support what's going on, it's important to support the troops who are there," he said.