Honoring police, fire and EMS through change of lighting – from white to blue

Composite image | St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY — A group of veterans encircled the quiet gathering at Vernon Worthen Park in July 2016, just days after five police officers were killed in Dallas, at a memorial held in honor of lives lost in Texas and to pay tribute to the those who “protect and serve” the citizens of Washington County.

File photo of Patriot Riders posting colors at the “Honor and Thank Law Enforcement” gathering at Vernon Worthen Park in St. George, Utah, July 10, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The group of veterans at the park that day were the Patriot Guard Riders, a group of motorcyclists that perform various missions in honor of past and present service veterans – and part of a national organization of more than 260,000 members.

Read more: Community gathers in show of support when tragedy strikes behind the thin blue line

The group can be seen standing along the streets of Santa Clara, St. George, Washington City and Hurricane holding their American flags and posters proclaiming their support of all emergency responders, including police, fire and emergency medical support.

To that end, the group has launched a campaign this month that it hopes will inspire the community to “show their mutual support of these agencies,” Southern Utah member Dale “Moe” Moore said.

Moore added that the purpose is to bring people together, and it’s a campaign that depends on the community’s involvement.

File photo of Patriot Riders posting colors at the “Honor and Thank Law Enforcement” gathering at Vernon Worthen Park in St. George, Utah, July 10, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The Patriot Guard Riders are asking the community to replace the clear or standard light bulbs found in porch and outdoor residential lighting with blue light bulbs.

“This is an ongoing campaign so you may leave the blue bulbs in for as long as you wish to show your support,” Moore said.

Each year the Patriot Guard Riders have been present at many veterans’ funerals, have escorted the Vietnam Wall from Mesquite, Nevada, to St. George, have led the veterans parade in St. George and have stood in ceremony at groundbreakings for memorial parks veterans homes.

“Courage can’t see around corners, but goes around them anyway,” Mignon McLaughlin said.

In September 2015 the group also took part in a procession of law enforcement vehicles that provided escort from St. George into California for the bodies of Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Arthur and his wife, Linda, two of seven hikers killed by a flash flood in Zion National Park.

Read more: Law enforcement, Patriot Guard escort deputy killed in Zion flood home to California

File photo of police procession provided escort from St. George to California for Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Arthur and his wife, Linda, who were killed in a flash flood at Zion National Park, Littlefield, Ariz., Sept. 21, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Jeff Hunt, St. George News

When the troops return home, they stand in reception to welcome them, and when the Triple Deuce is deployed from Cedar City and St. George, they are there.

“We stand flag ceremonies for veterans funerals, provide escorts to grave sites and then surround the site with our line of flags,” Moore said, adding that the group is involved in “providing escort services for Honor Flight events where veterans are taken to DC.”

Their efforts are central to the contribution they make throughout the county for veterans, their families and for the community as a whole.

The Patriot Guard national organization was formed in 2005 in response to protests taking place by the Westborough Baptist Church at funeral services for military persons killed in action, as Patriot Guards formed a barrier between the protesters and the families at funerals, preventing protesters from disrupting the service.

“Please do your part to support our local police, fire and rescue, and emergency medical responders by putting a blue bulb in your outside fixtures at your home, and Thank you for your support,” Moore said.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • valia February 17, 2018 at 6:45 am

    I’ve been thinking about this. I’ll put up blue light(s), but I won’t remove the white one. It’s there to provide enough light so that people won’t trip and require emergency services.

  • Striker4 February 17, 2018 at 11:01 am

    I think I will just leave the white lights up it seems some people have to much time on their hands….I fly the flag and keep the white lights on

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