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Residents: Anti-war protesters not helping

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The Ellis County Press

ELLIS COUNTY - Yellow ribbons are snug tightly around residents' mailboxes, trees and car antennas to show appreciation for the men and women in the armed forces; churches have been packed with people seeking to pray for the soldiers and American flags are once again gracing the

front porches and yards of many Ellis County homes.

However, the energy of the small-town residents has been overshadowed somewhat by the numerous anti-war protests in the country's biggest cities, a freedom-of-speech right many believe should be left before or after a war.

'They're not helping,' said Gail Villa, co-owner of Bea's Café in Ferris. 'There's a time to protest, and now is not the time.'

Steve Sweeney of Ennis served in Vietnam from 1962 to 1971, and said he's disappointed with the number of high profile Hollywood celebrities coming out against the war; Sweeney said he doesn't want to see the second Gulf war soldiers come home to taunts and ridicule like him and other Vietnam servicemen received.

'We got to rally behind our troops and pray for a quick return,' said Waxahachie resident Jimmy Turner.

The protests from the past week in New York City resulted in hundreds of arrests after 'peaceniks' started throwing bottles, rocks and obscenities at police.

In San Francisco recently, some of the protesters there locked arms into metal pipes with each other, causing traffic to be delayed for hours while safety crews sawed them out.

Motolov cocktails, a primary source of much of the daily firefights in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, were found among the San Francisco protesters' belongings after police arrested many of them.

'Our nation must come together, much like after Sept. 11,' Villa said.

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