MIDLAND CITY—Wrapped in the symbolism of all that has occurred in the small town over six days, small ribbons and signs requesting a five-year-old boy’s safe return in Midland City have grown in popularity the longer a hostage crisis involving the boy goes on.
Libby Walden said students from Dale County High School have for days cut the black, white, red and Columbia blue ribbons and passed them out to residents attending the vigils to show their support. Walden said the black and white ribbon represents death and resurrection relating to the loss of Dale County Schools bus driver Charles “Chuck” Poland, while the red and blue are the colors of the DCHS warriors.
Walden estimated around 400 of the ribbons have been distributed, while several signs offering prayers and asking for Ethan’s return have been posted at county schools and throughout the town.
Autumn Davis, whose family created most the signs, said she decorated signs at Midland City Elementary School so students that attended school with the child could have “somewhere to go” and see the community supports them.
She then begin painting the signs and placing them throughout the town, with messages of love and requests for the child to come home.
“Ethan and my son are in the same class and we want them to know we love him just as much as his friends,” Davis said.
“I want to see Ethan’s name everywhere I go.”
Deborah Trammell wore a different ribbon than the others during a candlelight vigil but the ribbon was designed with DCHS colors.
Trammell said her son, Jason Trammell, was a 1997 DCHS graduate that was killed in a wreck 10 years later.
“You never get ready for a child to be taken from you,” she said.
“I don’t know of anything worse. But I do know that this is a close-knit community and that we all hope that Ethan comes home soon.”