From Where I Sit – Seeing Red

On Friday, July 25, I made a conscious decision to wear red during a trip to Edmonton. Most of my errands kept me in the area from 137 Avenue in the north to 111 Avenue in the south, and between about 97 Street and 45 Street. Not a huge area to be sure, and I mention the location for a reason.

That morning I had had a different coloured, cooler cotton top in mind but opted for the red instead. I wanted to be part of Red Friday?the easy, visible, significant way to show support for the troops.

I’d seen footage of a sea of red shirts on Parliament Hill in Ottawa several months earlier and hoped the movement would come west. It has, but based on my observations that day, very few of us seem to have heard about it. The area of the city I mentioned is fairly close geographically to Edmonton Garrison and I expected to see red.

At the Londonderry Mall food court I approached two women in red and asked if they were supporting the troops. Their Bank of Montreal branch was indeed wearing red.

As I was parking near London Drugs I spotted a woman decked out in a sizzling red camisole and blouse walking to her vehicle. By the time I parked she was already in her car, about to back out of her spot. I waved at her and approached her passenger door. Amazingly, she opened her door to me.

?Are you wearing red for the troops?? I asked. No, she’d completely forgotten about it, it was just a coincidence.

?Well, you know we need to wear red every Friday ?til the troops come home,? I said.

At Costco I did the same questioning of a young man and a middle-aged woman. He didn’t know anything about it but red was his favourite color and he seemed pleased to think he was accidentally part of something big.

The woman was a mother who knew exactly what she was doing and had ?forced? her kids to wear red too.

I was disappointed that so few people seemed to be in tune with this movement. I couldn’t help remembering how Rexall Place was transformed into a sea of nearly seventeen thousand souls in white to support the Oilers in their run for the Cup. Couldn’t we do at least as much for real heroes?

The Red Fridays Foundation exists to promote support for the troops and their families. There is also a link to a poignant email. If you can read it without crying I will be amazed. There’s another, equally sad, one circulating as well that ended up in my inbox.

In typical Canadian fashion we need to clarify that wearing red doesn’t necessarily mean you support the war. It means you support the troops and their ultimate sacrifice both abroad and at home.

Spread the word, do your part, wear red until. I’m looking forward to seeing red every Friday, from where I sit.