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Brooklyn community still remembers, honors Mollie Tibbetts as trial of her accused killer begins

Published: May. 17, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 11:23 PM CDT
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BROOKLYN, Iowa (KCRG) - About 100 miles away from where the man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts will stand trial in Davenport, people in Tibbetts’ hometown of Brooklyn are still remembering and honoring her.

Known as the “Community of Flags,” the city’s teal ribbons tied around the community might mean even more.

“It’s always a reminder,” said Jason Jasnos, the owner of The Classic Deli & Ice Cream Shoppe in Brooklyn.

The ribbons are a reminder of Tibbetts, in her favorite blue-green color. They wrap around flag poles and traffic signs along Jackson Street, lining the sidewalk outside many of the city’s businesses, including Jasnos’ shop.

He had recently moved to the area and bought the restaurant when Tibbetts disappeared.

“I grew up in Los Angeles, so having the level of support and love and compassion and concern for the family and for Mollie when she went missing was overwhelming,” Jasnos said.

While newer ribbon is occasionally swapped in after the older ribbon has weathered the Iowa elements, the bows have been a Brooklyn fixture for nearly three years.

“They have been up here ever since her disappearance and will probably stay here for the future,” Jasnos said.

More ribbons for Mollie — a friend, relative, or neighbor to so many in Brooklyn — are still outside homes.

The meaning is summed up in two signs outside a house, with a word on each: “We Remember.”

Tibbetts also inspired “Mollie’s Movement,” an effort that encourages people to be kind.

An organizer with Mollie’s Movement said they have held events and raised more than $100,000 for causes Tibbetts cared about, including the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, where she volunteered.

Like the ribbons tied in her memory, Tibbetts’ legacy lives on in her hometown.

“This is a way that this tiny community can support that family in a way that is meaningful and ongoing, you know,” Jasnos said. “I think it’s beautiful.”

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