Last fall our community suffered so much stress and anxiety. I personally felt like I was living in a James Patterson novel. This is where a very special banner comes in.
The sudden disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway rocked our community. She was walking to the elementary school that my sister went to. We knew police officers investigating the disappearance. Friend’s cars were searched. So many people I know showed up to help find this sweet, innocent child. The discovery of her backpack and belongings in an area I drive by often was startling. Was the suspect playing cat and mouse? Was he someone Jessica knew? The discovery of her remains was shocking. I was at my daughter’s school and made a comment to my friend that there must be a terrible accident as we could see all the emergency lights about a half mile up the road.
When I got home my family relayed the news that her remains had been found in a park where my friends and coworkers frequently jog made it real. This was unraveling in my backyard. My neighbors, my community, my friends, my family, we were on edge. I preached stranger danger to my 16 year old daughter and my 19 year old son. We were nervous. All weekend we watched search teams scour the side of roads we drive on every day. We looked at every person as if they were a suspect. I was addicted to the news. I read every article. Who did this? Why? The police released information in bits. Finally, the mother of the suspect turned her son in. Again, in a place I felt safe. His house was on the street north of where I grew up. If I had a good arm, I could throw a stone and hit the house. It is so horrific to know that your child, your flesh and blood, could commit such a terrible crime. Commit a crime in a place where you feel safe, in your neighborhood, a place you call home.
Our community will not forget Jessica Ridgeway.
We had the privilege to design and produce a very special banner to honor Jessica for Saint Anthony’s North Hospital.
Our service team, Westminster Fire Department & St. Anthony’s staff at the completion on the installation of Jessica’s purple ribbon.