Oregonians use green light bulbs to show support for veterans

By Kristian Foden-Vencil (OPB)
Nov. 12, 2022 4:44 p.m.
A webpage shows information about Operation Green Light. “With Operation Green Light, we are sending a message of appreciation to our veterans and their families,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran in November 2022. “We encourage everyone to join us in shining a green light in support of our veterans and to also reflect on how we collectively can support veterans and their families transitioning back to civilian life.”

A webpage shows information about Operation Green Light. “With Operation Green Light, we are sending a message of appreciation to our veterans and their families,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran in November 2022. “We encourage everyone to join us in shining a green light in support of our veterans and to also reflect on how we collectively can support veterans and their families transitioning back to civilian life.”

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

People are being encouraged to show their support for veterans by changing one of their light blubs to shine green.

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The National Association of Counties and the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers are pushing the idea to let veterans know their service matters and that Americans are grateful.

In Multnomah County, the Morrison Bridge will be lit green this Veterans Day week. Commissioner Sharon Meieran sits on Multnomah County’s Veterans Task Force and said it’s not simply a token gesture.

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“It’s one of the ways we can really elevate out message to reach veterans and tell them, we see you, we thank you for your service, now let us be of service to you,” Meieran said.

“With Operation Green Light, we are sending a message of appreciation to our veterans and their families. We encourage everyone to join us in shining a green light in support of our veterans and to also reflect on how we collectively can support veterans and their families transitioning back to civilian life.”

Residents and businesses are also being encouraged to participate by simply changing one bulb to green. Organizers say it can be an exterior light for neighbors to see, or an interior light that’ll spark a conversation.

“Our nation’s voluntary military force members, and their families, have made immense sacrifices for our safety and security,” said Sheila Balbin, who manages Multnomah County’s Veterans’ Services Program.

Portland's Morrison Bridge was lit in rainbow colors Monday, June 13, 2016, in support of the LGBTQ community following the tragic events in Orlando on Sunday. Monday also marked the first day of Portland's annual Pride Week.

Portland's Morrison Bridge was lit in rainbow colors Monday, June 13, 2016, in support of the LGBTQ community. It'll be lit in green in recognition of the sacrifice made by veterans.

Laurie Isola / OPB

“We want to make sure our veterans and their families know that their service mattered, that we are grateful for their sacrifices, and that it is now our turn to make sure they are served by their county government and our community.”

While this event is focused around the week of Veterans Day (Nov. 7 to Nov. 13), participants are encouraged to continue shining the light year-round. Residents can share their participation on social media using the hashtag #OperationGreenLight.

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