been replaced with the ubiquitous awareness ribbon? Awareness
ribbons are the new buttons. They're literally everywhere. In fact,
instead of wearing them on our lapels, like the old style buttons, our
cars wear them, our blogs wear them. Soccer mom minivans look
naked without a magnetic awareness ribbon stuck to the back.
There is a whole rainbow of colors symbolizing various concerns.
Yellow ribbons, for instance, in the United States, are used to show
a close family member is abroad in military service. The first ribbon
that was represented as a meaningful object in history was the
yellow ribbon mentioned in a marching song, which was sung by the
military in the United States. In 1917 George A. Norton copyrighted
"Round Her Neck She Wears a Yeller Ribbon", which was rewritten
by several musicians during WWII.
The yellow ribbon song, most of us remember, is from the early
1970's, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" recorded by Tony Orlando and Dawn.
In 1979, Penney Laingen, the wife of an American hostage in Iran,
inspired by the song, tied yellow ribbons around trees in her front
yard as a sign of hope in her husband's safe return. Her friends and
family followed the trend and soon the use of the ribbon spread like
wildfire, becoming a popular medium to convey a cause. The New
York Times declared 1992 as "The Year of the Ribbon".
I'm certainly all for making concerns known and gaining support.
But, don't you think the ribbon medium is a bit overused today?
Ribbons now represent anything imaginable. They have lost their
uniqueness. In fact, people are making up their own ribbons, with
any coo coo for cocoa puffs statement they like. The old oak tree is
smothered with so many ribbons, it makes me feel claustrophobic.