FREMONT — Carrying a few spools of yellow ribbon in a plastic shopping bag, Army mom Julie Ramirez and her mother, Priscilla Miranda, set out Sunday morning along Fremont Boulevard.
"We as mothers want to show our support for those who are serving (in the military)," Ramirez said. "It's not a political statement or anything else."
The two Blue Star Moms made their way from the Five Corners in the Irvington district, tying yellow ribbons around trees, light posts, and any other poles they found along the way.
Ramirez said she hopes the ribbons remind the community that there are still families with loved ones in the military who still haven't returned from duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.
"There are those who are conscious of the fact that we are still at war," she said. "And then there are those who go on with life every day as if nothing big was happening anywhere. (The ribbons are) just a reminder to say a prayer and send blessings, because if it wasn't for our military, we wouldn't be walking here having the chance to do this."
Ramirez said she originally wanted to put up yellow banners along the street with the names of local soldiers currently serving, but a lack of funds forced her into using ribbons instead.
The ribbon-tying was the second such activity in January for the Blue Star Moms, a chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, a nonprofit organization that serves as a support group for parents with children in the military. Just two weeks ago, members of the organization tied yellow ribbons from the intersection of Fremont Boulevard and Mowry Avenue to Bidwell Drive.
Ramirez, a mother of three whose eldest son is an Army combat engineer, is the president of the Alameda County branch of the Blue Star Moms.
The local branch meets the first Wednesday of every month. This week they will collect items for care packages at 5:30 p.m. at Niles Veteran Hall.
Acceptable items include toiletries, nonperishable food, books, and other items that may remind the soldiers of home, Ramirez said.
"We're not doing it just to be nice," she said. "We're doing it because they need it."