Cari and Lauri Ryding, a couple in Massachusetts, came home from vacation recently to find their house had been egged and their rainbow flag stolen.
So more than 40 houses in their neighborhood put up rainbow flags in a show of solidarity.
Neighbors got the flags from the Rainbow Peace Flag Project, a local organization that gives away free rainbow flags to area residents. Cari and Lauri had originally hung the flag after the Orlando shooting.
“It just happened so quickly — the whole neighborhood said, ‘Get me a flag. Get me a flag. Get me a flag,’ ” said Penni Rochwerger, who lives around the corner from the Rydings. “If we can stop whatever hate is out there, I think that’s really important.”
“We said, ‘Why don’t we all have the flags? They can’t take them from all of us,’” said Dennis Gaughan, whose wife, Maura, helped organize the rainbow response. […]
As jarring as the initial crime was, Lauri Ryding said, the response has helped restore their faith in their community. “Somebody’s fear called them to action,” she said. “But our neighbors’ support and love called them to action, and love conquers hate. Love wins. We win.”