DAVIDSON, NC (WBTV) - If you drive around Davidson, you’ll see splashes of sunshine dangling from light poles and tree trunks. The yellow ribbons that decorate the town are a symbol of hope, in honor of Davidson native Patrick Braxton-Andrew. As a local athlete, coach, and teacher, Pat was someone who meant so much to this community.
“He’s touched so many people,” said Davidson Mayor, Rusty Knox. “Both as a kid growing up and as a teacher at Woodlawn School, there’s so many stories that we’re hearing about ‘Pat taught my son to ride a bike’, or ‘Pat was my kid’s soccer coach.”
“Pat loved to tutor, he loved to teach, he loved to be involved, he loved to go to sporting events. He was Davidson through and through,” said Pat’s friend Matt Campbell.
Campbell says the yellow ribbon idea started last month when Pat went missing. Pat was on vacation in Chihuahua, Mexico, and never made it to meet up with his brother in Mexico City. After weeks of wondering, the community’s worst fears were confirmed when the Chihuahua government announced on November 15th that Pat’s body had been found.
Even though friends and family know Pat won’t be coming home alive, friends aren’t taking any ribbons down, they’re putting more up, because their hope lives on.
“At the time (the ribbons) were a sign of hope that he would return safely, and I think now it’s more formed into a symbol of hope for his family,” said Pat’s friend Matt Campbell.
Campbell said he decided to distribute even more ribbons Monday, in hopes that people will hang them and help create a sea of yellow for Pat’s parents to return home to. The family is currently still in Mexico working to bring Pat home, and while their hearts will be heavy when they get back, the hope is that these vibrant ribbons will be a reminder of Pat’s lasting brightness.
“I hope (Pat’s family) feels happy. I hope they feel less alone and separated in this, and I hope they know there are even more outstretched arms than they had thought before that they can lean on, in what’s going to be a very difficult few months, as they adjust to life without Pat,” said Campbell.
No word on when the family will return home, we’re told they’re working with the Mexican government to get Pat’s body home quickly and safely.