GRANITE BAY (CBS13) – A tribute has been tarnished, and now the alleged culprit tells CBS13 why he or she ripped down hundreds of yellow ribbons honoring those serving in the military.

“I’m saddened by what they did,” said Patty Schumacher.

After we ran a story reporting someone was tearing down the ribbons, the person who apparently did it sent us an anonymous letter explaining their actions.

We took the letter to Patty Schumacher, a tribute organizer.

“I am appalled at this letter,” she said.

The letter states: “In previous years when there was rain they became a sodden, bedraggled noose around every tree, post and shrub.”

Schumacher, whose son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, has been joined by dozens of other volunteers for the last six years as they hang yellow ribbons in honor of our troops.

Each year she hangs a ribbon with her son’s name.

“When the names started appearing on some ribbons, I reverently prayed for the repose of their soul as I removed the ribbons,” read Schumacher.

“She does have the freedom of her opinion, but that doesn’t mean you justify it by being a vigilante and vandalize,” said Schumacher.

The letter says the ribbons are an eyesore and take away from the “natural beauty of the landscape”.

“It hurts because we never meant anything vindictive by it,” said Mark Soto, a group organizer. “We never meant to cause anyone any trauma or pain or unbeautify anything.”

And it also says if the county allows one group to hang ribbons, where will it end?

“Everyone has a right for their own personal cause. Whether it be testicular cancer, breast cancer, there are events that happen for those things. This happens to be our event here for our local community to remember our heroes,” said Schumacher.

Organizers hope they can reach a compromise with the person who wrote the letter and continue this Christmas tradition.

Organizers say last year someone also put a sign up in protest of the ribbons. But otherwise, they say no one else has ever complained.

The group has a six-week permit from the county to hang the ribbons.


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