TIFTON -- Dozens of citizens, VIPs and past, present and future military personnel showed up to honor those who are away fighting overseas by placing yellow ribbons on a tree downtown Friday.

The event launched a remembrance weekend filled with a series of events designed to honor U.S. troops.

The Tifton Welcome Station was filled to capacity as families listened to Mayor Paul Johnson, yellow ribbon committee coordinator Jennifer Rainwater and a representative from Rep. Sanford Bishop's office speak about the importance of remembering those who are of serving on our behalf.

"When people drive through and across Tifton, they'll see these yellow ribbons and it's a symbol of support for our fighting men and women," Mayor Paul Johnson said. "It sends a strong message that we support you and come home soon."

Last week the city council voted to declare Monday, July 4, as Yellow Ribbon Day in Tifton, and the city will issue a proclamation to the Yellow Ribbon Committee on the Opry Stage at the Agrirama just before the fireworks display Monday night.

The Fourth will cap weeks of planning and hard work from a community that has come together to celebrate and remember members of the 48th Georgia National Guard Brigade, which recently deployed to Iraq.

After the program, the names of those in the military were read out and relatives were given a ribbon to put on a tall, Christmas-type tree.

"We want every soldier that passes through Tifton on U.S. 82 headed to Fort Stewart to know by seeing our ribbons that they are cared for and thought about, whether they're from Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee," Johnson said.

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