Among all Americans, there are certain days that we hold very close. Some are in celebration, while others are in mourning. We celebrate the many milestones and achievements, as well as the obstacles that once stood in our way. We celebrate the birth of our nation, and we also mourn for the days in history where a piece of that nation was destroyed.
Lately, I know that many of us feel more divided than we’ve ever been. All through my social media I see posts that highlight the very hatred that we are so afraid of. That hatred is real. But hatred will never drown out love. Hatred will never silence the strong individuals who will be the change we wish to see in the world. And so many of those strong individuals are fighting overseas right now, while the people they love at home are fighting a different fight.
I made a promise to my readers once that I would never talk about politics on this blog. But I am finding a voice that I didn’t know I had, and I can’t suppress that just because it might stir some emotions in someone else. I’m not writing this to spew my opinion across the web, or to tell the world which little circle I scribbled in on my ballot on the night of November 8th. I’m writing this because I think we’ve lost sight of some very important things.
Our future’s are hanging in the balance, still very undecided. But there’s a fight happening right now that cannot wait until we’ve settled down. Thousands of service members are still overseas, watching their world unfurl from miles away. The nation that they’ve sworn to protect is changing, and they aren’t even here.. My brother is one of those people.
How do you think that feels?
We can’t forget about those who are fighting for our freedoms; fighting for our right to do what we (hopefully) all did that Tuesday night. As scary as the future might seem for some, we can’t forget about the present.
If you don’t know about R.E.D. Friday, here are some facts:
What does R.E.D. stand for?
Remember Everyone Deployed.
When did it start?
R.E.D. Friday officially began a couple years after September 11, 2001, but many say it was even before that. It’s believed to have started by Veterans who served in Desert Storm (1991) and Desert Strike (1996), who were sending out chain emails for everyone to start wearing red on Fridays as a symbol of support for those deployed.
What is the goal?
Every morning when we prepare for our day, a deployed service member gets ready for theirs. Although wearing red may seem like such a small gesture in comparison, it is a way that we can recognize their sacrifice, and stand beside them. The goal is to show that even though they aren’t here, we haven’t forgotten. That we think of their future just as we think of our own.
Why is it so important?
The strength of our military determines the strength of our nation. And it’s not just those who are serving, but those who stand behind them as well. Military spouses and children who have to say “see you later” all too often, so that their loved one can fight the fight for every individual in America.
So R.E.D. Friday serves as a reminder that half of our heart is overseas. And it’s not just for those who are fighting, but also for those who lost that fight. Because the greatest thing we can do is remember.