TRI-CITIES, TN/VA (WJHL) In part of a nationwide push, the Christmas Season is lasting a little longer in the Tri-Cities this year.
Some locals are leaving up their Christmas lights, trees and decorations to send an important message.
It is all part of the “Lights up for heroes” campaign, encouraging people to leave their decorations up until the end of January to send a message to healthcare workers.
“I think lights represent hope and joy,” said Johnson City Mayor Joe Wise.
Some local municipalities like Johnson City, Abingdon, and Jonesborough, along with homes and businesses still have their lights shining to show healthcare workers they are appreciated.
“After a really long shift someone may be driving home and see these lights up on Main Street in Abingdon or at a residence for that matter and say, hey you know they’re thinking about me,” said Abingdon, Virginia Mayor Derek Webb.
As healthcare workers have carried us through this pandemic nationwide, the goal with these lights is to show them their daily sacrifices do not go unnoticed, as they continue to work long hours and take risks daily to keep communities safe.
“We saw it as an opportunity to send a message to our healthcare workers, that they might see them and know how deeply grateful we as a community are for all that they have done and all that they do,” said Mayor Wise.
City leaders also say the biggest ‘thank you’ to healthcare workers does not come in the form of lights, trees or decorations.
“Ultimately the way we can express support for those folks who are sacrificing is to continue safe practices and when the opportunity avails itself to get vaccinated so we can eliminate the pandemic,” said Mayor Wise.
The small lights serve as a glimmer of the bigger picture; a light at the end of the tunnel coming out of this pandemic, all thanks to healthcare workers who remain on the front lines today.
“The town is behind you we are supporting you all the way,” said Mayor Webb.
Mayor Wise added he hopes other members of the community should be reminded by these lights to be grateful.
“I would hope that citizens who aren’t healthcare workers would look to those lights and be reminded of the unique sacrifices that healthcare workers make and see in it the hope and joy represented by light,” said Wise.
The hashtag #LightsUp4Heroes can be used to share photos on social media platforms of lights still shining bright in your community.