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Red Fridays?

For two hours, Caleb Richey and a few others stood along the edge of Knowles Avenue to prove a point.

Friday was, after all, the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon.

Not that Richey remembers anything from that day. He was only 1 year old at the time.

But now that he's older, 9-year-old Richey said he wanted to use the anniversary of one of our nation's greatest tragedies to promote a cause that's near to his heart.

He and his brother, Sam, 16, his mother Robin (of Star Prairie) and two friends -- Andrew Jensen, 16, and Sara Jensen, 19 -- donned red shirts and held up signs to support American troops everywhere.

"If you support the troops, you should wear red every Friday," Caleb said.

Caleb has been wearing red shirts on Fridays since he learned of the nationwide campaign via a recent e-mail.

Caleb and Sam have a brother, Steven, who enlisted in the U.S. Army and is currently completing advanced training at Fort Gordon, Ga.

The red shirt helps remind the Richey family that others are serving the country to protect our freedoms, Caleb said.

"I think we don't appreciate our troops enough," Sam added. "I just want people to remember that's why we have our freedoms today ... because we have the Army. Without them we probably would not be the country we are."

As cars drove by Glover Park in downtown New Richmond, Caleb waved a sign stating "Honk If You Support Our Troops." More than a few vehicles responded -- some more enthusiastically than others.

Sam held up a sign that read "Remember those who paid the ultimate price."

Sam recalled the horrifying day eight years ago when four airplanes either struck their targets or were downed on their way to the intended target.

"I remember we were eating breakfast, and my mom's friend called and told us to turn on the TV," he said. "We were all shocked by what had happened. It was horrible."

Because that attack forced many more soldiers into harm's way, Sam said it's important to remember the sacrifice troops and their families make every day. He felt Sept. 11 was the most appropriate day to send that message.

"I want people to appreciate our troops and give them more support than they already have," he said.

Andrew Jensen said he and his sister drove all the way down from Frederic to help their friends out on Friday. He said anything that supports American troops is a good idea.

"I just think this is the right thing to do," said Andrew, who carried a "Support Our Troops" sign.

Sara agreed.

"I really love America and I'm thankful for the freedoms we have here," she said. "And I'm grateful for the men and women of the United States military who have sacrificed so much so that we can enjoy the life we have."

Sara also carried a "Support Our Troops" sign, and Robin Richey held up a "Pray For Our Troops" sign.

Robin said the two-hour demonstration at the park was mostly positive, with many people showing signs of support. A few people, however, greeted the group with some not-so-nice gestures.

"I thought, 'our service people died so you can express your opinion like that,'" she said. "But overall it was a good experience."