Dalila Ali Rajah
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Mass. Neighborhood Goes Rainbow After Vandals Steal Pride Flag

Cari and Lauri Ryding

A same-sex couple has received a colorful show of support from neighbors.

Rainbow flags were unfurled at over 40 houses in Natick, a suburb of Boston, after the home of Cari and Lauri Ryding was vandalized, according to The Boston Globe.

While the couple was on vacation, the house had been egged. And a rainbow flag, which the Rydings had ordered after the Orlando shooting, had been stolen.

The neighborhood was quick to act after the couple reported the incident to the police last Wednesday, and no suspects were immediately identified.

“We said, ‘Why don’t we all have the flags? They can’t take them from all of us,’” said Dennis Gaughan. A response team sent a flurry of donation and requests to the Rainbow Peace Flag Project, which offers free flags to local residents.

“It just happened so quickly — the whole neighborhood said, ‘Get me a flag. Get me a flag. Get me a flag,’” said Penni Rochwerger. “If we can stop whatever hate is out there, I think that’s really important.”

On Sunday, a group of children on bicycles delivered the rainbow flags across the neighborhood. Lauri Ryding was awed to see the bright banners unfurl after cleaning up the damage from her porch.

“One person’s act of fear and maliciousness created such a powerful statement of love,” she said. “We are very blessed, very fortunate.”

“Somebody’s fear called them to action,” she added of the vandals. “But our neighbors support and love called them to action, and love conquers hate. Love wins. We win.”

Tags: Pride, Crime

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