CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

January 14, 2014

WP Daily Prompt: 1/7/2014: Ribbon Colors Mean… Part 1


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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Hug for Sandy

  WP DAILY PROMPT 1/7/2014:

RIBBON COLORS MEAN… Part 1

(Red, Orange, Yellow)

The WP Daily Prompt for 1/7/2014 is colors : Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word or image.

Since this topic is too long for a single post I decided to do it in two parts, which qualifies it for the WP Weekly Writing Challenge 1/6/2014, Cliffhanger! : …write a post that will leave readers waiting for more. Breathless with anticipation. On the edges of the seats…We want to hear audible groans when readers reach the end of your post and see “To be continued…” Although this is an informational rather than a storytelling post I hope readers will have their curiosity piqued sufficiently to wait expectantly for the second part of title, WP Daily Prompt: 1/7/2014: Ribbon Colors Mean… Part 2.

Persian Gulf War yellow ribbon

Persian Gulf War yellow ribbon

As I placed the yellow ribbon on my Christmas tree, reading its words Operation Mail Call, I thought about the military men in my family: my father, uncle, grandfather… Then I wondered about the yellow ribbon’s connection between the 1970s song Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, and the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s, the latter being the time of the ribbon.

And I wondered why yellow? Thus, I found myself surfing the Internet to find an answer.

As I surfed I discovered all the colors of the rainbow are used in ribbons to bring support and awareness to select issues. This post will run through the rainbow colors. Part 1 will cover red, orange, and yellow. Part 2 will cover green, blue, indigo, and violet.

RED RIBBONSth2

Red ribbons bring awareness and support for numerous issues, including Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), Mothers Against Drunk Driving, reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

BE DRUG FREE

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Red Ribbon Week is the last full week in October, a time set aside to present a visible commitment to a safe, healthy and drug-free lifestyle. The campaign is designed to accomplish the following:

  • to create awareness concerning the problems related to the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs
  • to support the decision to live a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

The first Red Ribbon Week was proclaimed in 1988 by the U.S. Congress to commemorate the sacrifice of Drug Enforcement Agency agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was murdered by Mexican drug traffickers.

An annual Red Ribbon Theme Contest reminds adults to support drug prevention efforts and set a positive example for children. The 2013 winning theme was A Healthy Me Is Drug Free. Previous winning themes were The Best Me Is Drug Free, It’s Up To Me To Be Drug Free, and 100% Me Drug Free.

Which reminds me that I won a poster contest at a camp when I was a teenager. It was the first thing I ever won.

WOMEN’S HEART DISEASE

Heart-beat

Red Ribbons also advance the issues involved in women’s heart disease.

The annual National Wear Red Day ® is on the first Friday in February, February 7th in 2014. It brings awareness that heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of women, killing almost 1,100 a day…(it) kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. It is a silent killer, having symptoms that mimic other conditions.

But what’s more powerful than the killer? Millions of mothers, sisters, daughters and friends speaking up.

Wear Red. Raise Your Voice. Go Red on National Wear Red Day®. Learn your cardiovascular risk and take action to live longer, healthier lives.  Tools/resources  are available for 2014’s National Wear Red Day ®.

ORANGE RIBBONS

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Orange ribbons are used to raise support and awareness of many issues, including attention deficit disorder (ADHD), leukemia/lupus, self-injury awareness, cultural diversity, and the humane treatment of animals.

KIDNEY AWARENESS

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March is National Kidney Awareness Month.

Among the kidney’s tasks are to help regulate blood pressure, control the production of red blood cells, and balance the level of fluids within the body.

Quick Facts on Kidney Disease:

  • Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
  •  More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it.
  •  There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
  •  More than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the US today.

I chose to feature National Kidney Awareness Month in honor of Somerset County Davita dialysis unit in Somerset, Pennsylvania, where my daughter Sandy works. Way to go, Sandy and everyone who works with you.

HUNGER

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When I travel I choose two colors from my wardrobe, minimizing what I need to pack. This year, when our travels took us away from home almost all of September, I chose purple and blue.

Had I known that in September the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, Feeding America ®, uses orange to raise awareness that hunger in the United States must end, I might have chosen orange as one of my colors. During September 2013 there was a multi-faceted effort to mobilize the public around the theme Together We Can Solve Hunger.

The mission of Feeding America® is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

Hunger does exist in this food-rich country. Unemployment, medical problems, aging and mental illness are major causes. I’ve known persons affected by these issues. As individuals my husband and I have attempted to assist friends caught in these situations. It’s a little bit I can do for others. If we each do a little, if we each do our part, we can alleviate some of the problem. However, I offer credit to food banks that can do so much more. And I am pleased that my husband Monte works at food banks on a regular, but occasional, basis.

YELLOW

74px-Yellow_ribbon_svgSUPPORT FOR TROOPS

Persian Gulf War 1991

Persian Gulf War 1991

The yellow ribbon of awareness was commemorated in a1970s song Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree. The song topped the U. S. pop charts and created a cultural phenomenon in April 1973.

The yellow ribbon is used to increase support and awareness of many issues, including adoptive parents, POW/MIAs, hope, Amber Alert, and cancer or disease survivors.

It has long been a symbol of support for absent or missing loved ones.

  • This past week (ending Jan. 23, 2011) saw two significant anniversaries involving yellow ribbons. January 20th was the 30th anniversary of the release of the Iranian hostages and January 16th was the 20th anniversary of the first Persian Gulf War. Both events are notable because on both occasions, the yellow ribbon became a symbol of national solidarity in the first instance and support of the troops in the second.**

People whose nation is at war can feel helpless in the face of the danger confronting loved ones in battle areas. Ribbons, flags and other displays offer symbolic outlets in these difficult times.*

The yellow ribbon I’ve hung on my Christmas tree each year since 1990 is what led me to writing this post. This ribbon raises awareness of Troops/Military Support and gives the message Support our Troops. I’m certain we responded to the request for the mail call by sending Christmas cards to troops in the mid-East.

War is accepted as necessary to attain peace. In the following excerpt from a report on a civilian wedding, the homilist told the couple that their marriage needed to be a yellow ribbon, a witness to life and love amidst the hatred, despair, and death we saw around us, expresses some of the symbolism of the yellow ribbon.

Isn’t this the essence of the yellow ribbons for troops?

AWARENESS AND PREVENTION OF YOUTH SUICIDE

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The yellow ribbon is recognized internationally as they symbol for the awareness and prevention of youth suicide. The 40th Annual National Suicide Prevention Week is September 7-13, 2014.

Teen suicide is a growing health concern. It is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24…One in five teenagers in the U.S. seriously considers suicide annually, according to data collected by the CDC. In 2003, 8 percent of adolescents attempted suicide, representing approximately 1 million teenagers, of whom nearly 300,000 receive medical attention for their attempt; and approximately 1,700 teenagers died by suicide each year. Currently, the most effective suicide prevention programs equip mental health professionals and other community educators and leaders with sufficient resources to recognize who is at risk and who has access to mental health care.

The first situation I became embroiled at the start of the Family Support Program for the Greater Jamestown Area (Pennsylvania) involved a teenager who commit suicide. His distraught friends came to me for support. Because working with teenagers is not my forte, and I had little background in suicidology, I called on an expert, the late Paul Trianni, from Ohio, for support.

Anyone can be involved in suicide prevention—Survivors (those who have lost someone to suicide), individuals who have mental illness, and others are active in suicide prevention.

There is a master form available for communities which want to proclaim September 7-13, 2014 as Yellow Ribbon Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week.

To read about the colors green, blue, indigo and violet click on WP Daily Prompt: 1/7/2014: Ribbon Colors Mean… Part 2.

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ADDITIONAL READING:

Date Rape Prevention Strips & Coasters

SOURCES
* http://articles.mcall.com/1991-02-15/news/2785325_1_yellow-ribbons-displays-candle
** http://www.examiner.com/article/history-101-history-of-the-yellow-ribbon

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