Local woman designs signs to thank first responders


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Though 2020 was a difficult year, some are taking this time to thank first responders for their part in getting us through.

In fact, Wilmington resident Marie Ellen has been thanking first responders for three years. She designs, creates, and puts up signs in her front yard to thank those who put their lives on the line every day.

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Ellen, a breast cancer survivor and grandmother lives on Barclay Hills Drive, and is originally from Boston.

Her son, also a cancer survivor, still lives there working as a paramedic.

With the recent rise in gun violence, Ellen admits her signs have stirred controversy. She counters it’s her way to express her patriotism and respect for first responders, like her son.

“Because when they start shooting each other, killing each other, who is there? Who’s there? The paramedics. You know, and uh… *tears up and places her hand on her heart.*”

Ellen said she’s already working on her next sign, which will center around the themes peace, love, and happiness.