Following the original e-mail sent in regards to the display of blue, black, and red ribbons on all Fire Department vehicles in Lawrence Kansas there have been several questions asked that I hope this follow-up message will explain. First, the choice of color combinations was done intentionally to separate these ribbons from others that will be displayed. I have heard of all types of combinations of ribbon colors with of course red, white, and blue seeming to be the most popular. I feel red, white, and blue is very appropriate and I do also display that on my personal vehicle with the Public Safety ribbon. However, there is a need in my opinion for us to be able to distinguish the Public Safety losses in our own personal way.
Firefighters, Law Enforcement Officers, and EMS Professionals are themselves a world wide family. As with all families we do not seem to get along all of the time but when the alarm sounds there is nothing any one of us would not do for the other. In our eyes and in the eyes of the nation all of our fallen brothers and sisters are and should be called HEROES. However, I know that if we could ask any of our fallen right now they would tell everyone they do not see themselves as heroes but as a brotherhood dedicated to the greatest professions on earth. That every Public Safety professional risks their lives everyday to serve and protect the community around them. I know there is not one of us out there who would not have answered the alarm, because that is what we do. I also know that almost everyone in our family wishes to be in New York right at this moment digging through the rubble with bear hands to reach our brothers and sisters.
Please show support for your community and our nation every way that you can. But I also hope everyone will participate in the use of the Public Safety ribbons to distinguish all of us that have suffered such staggering losses in our own "Family".
In the making of the ribbons I simply tried to find " wide cloth ribbon that seemed more durable. All were cut about 12" to 14" long and placed with the black ribbon in the middle. I then used a small wire tie in the middle then placed a larger unconnected wire tie in and tightened the smaller one around the ribbons and larger wire tie. The larger wire tie was then used to secure the ribbons around vehicle antennas, light bars, door handle, front grills, ladders, handrails, bells, or wherever they could be seen on all sides of the vehicles. When tightening the small wire tie either the blue or the red ribbon can placed more on the outside to make it more service specific. Also melting the ends slightly will keep them from unraveling so much in the wind.
Keep all of our brother, sisters, and their loved ones in your prayers and stay safe,
Brian Aeschliman IAFF local 1595
Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical