Whether you are driving around town or wandering around social media, you can’t miss the yellow ribbons in Davidson.
Our community has been grappling first with the news that Patrick Braxton-Andrew was missing, and the subsequent devastating news that Patrick had been killed in Mexico.
At the gathering on the Town Green on Sunday, November 11 volunteers handed out small yellow ribbons to allow people to wear their show of hope for Patrick’s safe return. Some people turned the idea of those small yellow ribbons into a larger display of hope by putting big yellow ribbons around trees, lamp posts, and telephone poles.
When the news of Patrick’s death began to spread, someone quickly went to social media to suggest that people should not only keep those ribbons up, but that more should be put up to show our community support for Patrick’s parents Jean Braxton and Gary Andrew, and his brother Kerry.
Indeed, we hope that Patrick’s family feels the love and support of this community as they grieve the loss of their son and brother. And we hope that the sea of yellow ribbons shows them but a glimmer of the magnitude of that support.
We have also been struck by the number of extremely poignant comments on social media. And, while social media is not always a place to find such supportive words, we want to share the following:
“On November 15, after missing for over two weeks in Mexico, we were notified that Patrick Braxton-Andrew died at the hands of a criminal organization on October 28. When thinking of living out the Davidson College mission, and taking our education here and spreading it throughout the world, we think of Patrick – as that is what he did and who he was. We lost a beloved friend, teacher, mentor, and alumnus this week. Please join us in remembering Patrick, a passionate and avid traveler, by welcoming learning and adventure as they cross your path in life.” – Elia Ramirez, Davidson resident & Davidson College Class of ’19
Another post that caught our eye was this one from our friends at Main Street Books:
“We are devastated by the news that Patrick Braxton-Andrew – a beloved teacher and friend who wove a strong, kind, and vibrant thread through the fabric of our community – has passed. Our door is open if you need a hug.”
As our community pauses this week for a time of thanksgiving, we hope that the yellow ribbons – big and small – will cause each of us to embrace the spirit of adventure, kindness, and generosity that Patrick embodied. Now, we will allow his family the time and space that they need, and let our ribbons quietly show them our love and support. If and when they decide to have a public celebration of Patrick’s life, we will post that information.