Awareness Ribbons: How Did They All Began?

Ribbons have always been useful items. First and foremost, ribbons are known for their decorative qualities and purpose. They can be used to enhance the appearance of almost anything. Ribbons are used in many different events such as birthdays, weddings and even funerals. They also make for great binding material. However, in recent times, ribbons have been used in a more symbolic and noble way: to spread awareness.

Ribbons are now being used in a more meaningful way, to give light to some certain causes and issues such as cancer, LGBT, HIV/AIDS and more. One of the most popular ribbon colors is light purple, a color used to represent Cancer awareness. However, that is not how awareness ribbons first began. If you are wondering how awareness ribbons first started, then read on.

According to Napoleon Bonaparte, “a soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.’ Strange as it may sound, but it is ironic that awareness ribbons did began with soldiers. No, I’m not referring to the ribbons awarded to the valiant soldiers that fight for their countries. What I am referring to are the Yellow Ribbons.

In the 1970s, the US had first used the yellow ribbon to honor the thoughts and prayers of US citizens for their troops who are constantly exposed to danger. The yellow ribbon immediately became the symbol of American troops and hostages. Penelope Laingen, wife of a US charge d’Affaires in Tehran, is credited as one of the people who started using yellow ribbons to honor their troops stationed away from the country, tying them to oak trees and any kind of trees.

Awareness ribbons have great military ties and their popularity continued on into the 90s during the Gulf War.

But it was in the 1992 that activists adopted the use of awareness ribbons to their cause. They introduced the Red Ribbon to symbolize their passion to find a cure for HIV/AIDS epidemic. That same year, the Pink Ribbon was used introduced for breast cancer awareness.

Right now, all sorts of ribbons and colors are used to represent numerous causes. From silk to Paper Mart satin ribbon, from black to rainbow, they are all being used for the greater good.

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