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Calls to keep yellow ribbons representing military on Litchfield town green continue

The ribbons were put up on trees at the start of the Iraq war in 2003 as a symbol of support for local service members.

LITCHFIELD, Conn. — A rally in Litchfield on Sunday morning called for a return of yellow ribbons on the town green to honor U.S. military members.

It's a debate that goes back more than a decade.

The ribbons were put up on trees at the start of the Iraq war in 2003 as a symbol of support for local service members.

Officials say as each member returned home, their ribbon would be taken down.

A compromise was eventually made to keep some ribbons up over the years to honor branches of the military.

RELATED: Yellow ribbons removed from Litchfield town green amid speech dispute

The five remaining ribbons were taken down in January after a decision by the board overseeing the borough of Litchfield, which includes the green, to return to enforcing the code.

"The borough of Litchfield has a code which allows no postings on the green. No signs, no ribbons, no placards," said Gayle Carr, senior burgess and acting warden for the borough of Litchfield.

"The constitution is very clear in its first amendment you can’t discriminate based upon speech and so you can’t allow one kind of speech without allowing all speech. It is the policy of the borough of Litchfield like virtually every municipality to allow none and that’s what the code specifically states,” Carr added.

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However, military parents Val and Leslie Caron of Bantam call the removal disrespectful.

"They're denying us our first amendment rights and there was no problem with the ribbons being up there for all this time, they made a problem," Val said.

"I used to drive by and just say hi to our son just looking at the ribbons and so many people appreciate them," said Leslie. "There has been so much support."

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The Litchfield Green does already feature an American flag and a monument honoring local service members.

The Carons say they are planning legal action to get the ribbons put back up.

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