OGDEN — It wasn't just one or two, or even a hundred pink ribbons Boy Scouts had to cut down today. Thousands dotted the Ogden neighborhood near Ben Lomond High School where slain Emilie Parker's parents went to high school and met.
Community members hung thousands of pink ribbons throughout the neighborhood to honor 6-year-old Emilie Parker, who was killed last month in Newtown, Conn. with 19 other children in Sandy Hook Elementary by a gunman.
The girl was born in Ogden, but moved to Connecticut with her parents and two siblings for her father, Robbie Parker, to attend school and eventually take a job.
Once news came that the Ogden family had lost their happy little girl, the community stepped forward with ribbons in Emilie's favorite color.
"You know, a lot of people see Ogden and think it's just a ghetto place, not very good people, you know? But I love Ogden," said Boy Scout Ben Williams. "There are great people here. You can tell by the ribbons everywhere that there are people that love here."
After the Dec. 22 funeral for Emilie and nearly a month after her death, it was time for the ribbons to come down, before nature littered them on the ground and gutters. Ben decided that removing the neighborhood-wide memorial would be his Eagle Scout Project.
There are great people here. You can tell by the ribbons everywhere that there are people that love here.
–Ben Williams, Boy Scout
"A few of them were starting to get ragged and you see a few of them starting to blow across the streets and stuff," he said. "It's not good. I think it's detracting from the purpose that they had."
Ben also understands it's probably going to take more than one day to take down every single pink ribbon that has been carefully tied and hung in Ogden, but he said that is all right. He can come out on his own time if he has to.
"There's more opportunities. I can probably do it again. I don't mind it," Ben said.
With a slew of help from friends, family members and neighbors, Ben worked to get down as many as they could in one day.
"He's got a really tender heart and I appreciate his interest in helping others and reaching out to others," said his mother, Charlotte Williams. She said they have known the Parker family for some time and felt the removal of the ribbons important.
Ben said he just didn't want Emilie's ribbons to ever become an eyesore.
"Glad I got this opportunity to make the community a little better place," he said.