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´╗┐R.E.D. is an acronym that stands for Remember Everyone Deployed. What began as an email initiative throughout the United States since about 2003, the concept was simple: people across the country were encouraged to wear red every Friday to show their solidarity and support for American troops serving overseas and spread the message to the troops and their families that you are thinking of them. In May 2006, this grassroots movement inspired Lisa Miller and Karen Boire - two military wives from Petawawa, Ontario - to launch their own version of Red Friday and "present it in a more Canadian and personal way" and began promoting it within the local media. Lisa and Karen, also known as 'The Red Friday Ladies' held their first Red Friday Rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario in September 2006 and soon after, thousands of Canadians began the tradition of wearing Red on Fridays and their message was heard across the country. In turn, the efforts of our Red Friday Ladies also helped re-invigorate our American allies to further expand their Red Friday program. Shown in the photograph is then Chief of the Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier, being kissed by Karen Boire on the left and Lisa Miller on the right during a Red Shirt Walk/Run event that culminated on Parliament Hill on Friday, 1 June 2007.
On this day, Friday, 4 May 2018, we celebrate the 12th anniversary of R.E.D. Friday in Canada and continue to show our support, pride and appreciation to the men and women who serve our country, and our allies, as well as the families of those who serve.