Starting Sunday, November 6th, green lights will be installed and displayed along Poyntz Avenue in Downtown Manhattan to show support for military veterans and their families. The Operation Green Light display will last one week and is part of a national collaboration to support military veterans. The display is intended to raise awareness about the unique challenges veterans face as well as the importance of continued assistance for veterans at the community, state, and federal levels.
Riley County Commissioner John Ford learned about Operation Green Light earlier this year through the National Association of Counties (NACo). He approached local agencies in August with the idea of starting a display aligned with the national campaign.
“People stepped up quicky to organize the effort and lend their support,” said Commissioner John Ford. “We’re sending the message to our veterans that we’re here for them, and the entire community is here to stand with them. By shining a green light, we let our veterans know they are seen, appreciated, and supported.”
Residents and businesses are encouraged to join the effort by displaying green lights at their homes and buildings during the week of November 7th- 13th and all year long. People can share photos of their lights or send messages of support using the hashtag #OperationGreenLight.
The Operation Green Light display in Downtown Manhattan is made possible through support and collaboration from American Legion Pearce-Keller Post No. 17, City of Manhattan, Downtown Manhattan, Inc., Flint Hills Veterans Coalition, Greater Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce Military Relations Committee, Riley County, and VFW Post 1786 of Manhattan Kansas.
“It was truly a team effort,” said Military Community Liaison Janet Nichols. “Everyone who heard about the project immediately jumped on board to make this happen in time for Veterans Day.”
The lights were funded by donations, and volunteers will work to install them in time for Veterans Day celebrations.
“We’re thrilled that Downtown Manhattan will be the centerpiece for supporting veterans,” said Gina Snyder, Executive Director of Downtown Manhattan, Inc. “Thanks to all who made this happen!”
Veterans Day Parade
People are also invited to attend the Manhattan Veterans Day Parade. The parade will start at 3rd Street and Poyntz Avenue at 9:30 a.m. Friday, November 11th. The route will travel along Poyntz Avenue and end at 14th Street. The theme for this year’s parade is Honoring Vietnam Veterans.
A Ceremony of Honor will take place after the parade and will feature special guest speaker Colonel Leroy Stutz, USAF Retired. Colonel Stutz is a Vietnam Veteran and former POW. The annual Veterans Day parade and Ceremony of Honor is organized by the Flint Hills Veterans Coalition and additional information is available on their website at http://www.flinthillsveterans.org/
Find more information about Operation Green Light from NACo