By Buddy Blouin
Americans and patriotism go together like movies and popcorn, a baseball game and a hotdog, or classic peanut butter and jelly in between two slices of bread. It’s something we take pride in, and a large part of it boils down to being thankful to those who serve to make sure that we are free and protected. RED Friday is a simple yet meaningful way to show those serving that you are thinking about them and to show pride in our Armed Forces. War is never a good situation, but wearing red is a simple way to show your support to those keeping America safe from its enemies.

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What Is RED Friday?

RED Friday, formally known as R.E.D. Friday is where American citizens come together to show support for deployed troops by wearing red on Fridays. R.E.D. stands for Remember Everyone Deployed and provides the color theme for the tribute toward deployed troops and their families. It’s a simple but meaningful way to show troops that they're appreciated and that we're thinking of them while they serve our wonderful country.

The History of RED Friday

How RED Friday became a thing depends on who you ask if you’re looking for its origins. One less-than-reliable claim is that there was an American email chain in the 2000s that inspired people to begin the movement. It’s also possible that this email chain did, in fact, inspire the second possible source that helped birth RED Fridays. Another claim, which has some traction, also takes us to the 2000s but shows that the movement began in Canada, which worked to get Internet subscribers to the website “Married to the Canadian Forces” to wear red. This also would help inspire Lisa Miller and Karen Boier, military spouses, to create an event that had Canadians meet up while wearing red. It’s worth noting that the Canadian movement does state that the movement did come from an American initiative. Eventually, thousands of Canadians would join the cause, and it would get the attention of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who encouraged the group to show support to the Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan. The actual origins may have different stories, but today, we still wear red on Friday as a symbol of patriotism and remembrance.

RED Friday Appeal Makes a Difference

While it doesn’t matter what you wear, only that you wear, anything red will do. But there are interesting organizations, such as Red Shirt Friday, a non-profit, that provide red appeal while giving back to active military communities as well as Veterans. It’s a great way to double-dip and not only show your support but provide money to those who can benefit from it within the military community.

Wearing Red on Fridays Is More Than a Fashion Statement

The popularity of wearing red on Fridays is debatable. Many Veteran-owned businesses or military-associated groups may participate by wearing RED Friday shirts or anything red, really. But what cannot be forgotten is the fact that people are away from home protecting us all. The hope is that the RED Friday movement can gain momentum and carry it going forward. If you haven’t heard of the movement and own a business, red shirt Friday can be a great way to get people involved and have fun around your place of work. RED Friday deserves more attention because the people it works hard to honor and remember deserve as much support as possible. The personal sacrifice the military and their families go through because of deployment should not go unnoticed. By wearing red on Fridays, it doesn’t have to.

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