Break the Chain This Little Light of Mine

Created 10/9/2001 (8/21/2002) One side effect of tragedy is the psychological need to feel we can come together to turn our darkest hour into our brightest moment. Many grassroots campaigns of unity have come and gone since September 11, 2001, and the success of this one is questionable at best.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Subject: National Day of Driving with Headlights On

Subject: National Day of Driving with Headlights On Please join us and PLEASE forward this email immediately to everyone in your address book asking them to also forward it. We have 12 days and counting to get the word out all across this great land we love and call the United States of America.

THE PROGRAM IS THIS: On Thursday, October 11th, 2001, have everyone in the USA who will be driving a motor vehicle that day drive with their headlights on during daylight hours. This will be the 30th day commemoration in honor of our fallen friends desecrated by the terrorists' attacks on NYC , the Pentagon, and the high jacked plane that crashed in PA.

The purpose of driving with headlights on this day will:

1). Show our respect, friendship, and tribute to all of those individuals who lost their lives on that dreadful September 11, 2001 day.

2). Show our concern for the family members of those individuals.

3). Show those uncouth terrorists that the fabric of the USA is stronger than steel.

4). Show that we Americans have solidarity standing shoulder to shoulder against any terrorists' acts upon the USA.

Thank you.

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Immediately following the terrorist attacks, an e-mail began circulating that asked recipients to light a candle the evening of September 14 to show our unity and our strength as a nation. The success of that movement was due largely to President Bush's proclamation of September 14 as a national day of prayer, calling for candlelight vigils and other public shows of unity.

The following week, no doubt driven by the surprise success of the earlier campaign, hoaxters tried to convince the nation to do it again, this time for a satellite photo.

There has been no shortage of suggestions since 9/11 for how to show the world that this attack can only make us stronger. Like most of the others, this one has some major problems. A movement like this one would require massive media attention to be even marginally successful.

Not surprisingly, the idea has resurfaced as the anniversary of the attacks approach:

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

9/11 LIGHTS ON!

Please join us on 9/11. We have over a month to get the word out all across this great land we love and call the United States of America.

On Wednesday, September 11, 2002 everyone in the USA who will be driving a motor vehicle is asked to drive with their headlights on during daylight hours.

Though no explanation is needed as to why we are commemorating September 11.................. we hope, more importantly, to pay respect to the victims of that day, show our nation's solidarity and show support for our men and women of the Armed Forces.

You can help by sending this e-mail on to others!

Remember......................9/11 LIGHTS ON!

THANK YOU!!

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Many have pointed out problems with this campaign. First, not everyone drives a car, and some vehicles have daytime running lights that are always on, thus there would be no way to distinguish this day from any other. Some versions of this chain even have a warning to participants to remember to turn their headlights off when they are done traveling. Most importantly, it has no sponsor, and thus, is unlikely to succeed.

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We want to show our strength as a nation, if not for the world, then at least for ourselves. But most of the ideas forwarded so far suffer from the "e-laziness" that is characteristic of Armchair Activism. They all look for easy ways that virtually anyone could get involved with. We all have cars and candles are available for cheap at almost every store.

The nation already has a "symbol of unity" that too few people have latched on to - Old Glory. The American Flag has been the symbol of unity, strength, pride and solidarity for over two centuries, yet recent shortages of flags at retail stores illustrate that too few people have them. If you want to get your friends and family to show their pride in our country, encourage them to get and fly the Stars and Stripes and save their Sears Die Hards. Break this Chain!

What Do You Think?


References: None

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