Project Blue Light takes on red and white lights to support police, firefighters and EMS personnel
By AMBER SOUTH
People in the Shippensburg area and surrounding communities are encouraged to shine red, white and blue this holiday season to honor those who make the community a safer place.
Residents are asked to display colored lights in their outdoor holiday decorations to support the law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical service personnel serving the community, as well as those killed in the line of duty. Blue represents police officers, red signifies firefighters and white stands for EMS workers, according to an e-mail from Greg Martin, a local organizer.
The lighting of support is known nationally as Project Blue Light, and generally includes only police officer recognition. The tradition began in 1988 when Philadelphia woman Dolly Craig placed two blue lights in her front window to honor her daughter and son-in-law. The man, Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Gleason, was killed in the line of duty in 1986. Just two years later, his wife and Craig’s daughter died in a car accident.
Craig notified the group Concerns of Police Survivors of her action, and now the tradition is recognized across the country even though Craig has since passed on.
In an effort to recognize others serving the community, Martin, a retired Shippensburg Police officer, put forth the addition of red and white lights.
According to Martin’s e-mail, people can recognize Project Blue Light in a number of ways. A blue, white or red light bulb can be used in an electric candle, or individual lights can be placed on outdoor Christmas decorations like wreathes, trees, house lights and other items.
He also suggests tying a ribbon around a car antenna.
“By displaying a blue candle in your window and tying blue ribbons to your car antennas, you are saying that you remember those lost and support those who remain and continue to go out to protect us every day.
“And this year, let’s take it out another step. Let’s add a red candle for our firefighters. Let’s add a white one for our EMT/EMS/Emergency heroes, too. Let’s tell them all: ‘We remember. We know you’re there. We care. And we thank you.’”
Amber South can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 262-4771.