Downtown Ithaca will shine green for Veterans Day

Community participating in Green Light A Vet on November 10-12

ITHACA, NY NOVEMBER 6, 2019 — To celebrate Veterans Day and honor military veterans and their families, Downtown Ithaca is participating in the Greenlight a Vet campaign from November 10th through 12th by using green lights to illuminate the light poles on the Commons pedestrian mall.

Many downtown shops and businesses will show their support, too, by changing at least one light at their business or residence to green. The City of Ithaca is donating 100 battery operated flickering little tea lights to the businesses on and around the Commons so they may light up their storefront window displays with a green glow.

On Veterans Day, many downtown shops will display green lights like this one in their windows to support their support for veterans. This initiative is part of the national Greenlight A Vet campaign.

“We appreciate military veterans and Greenlight A Vet is a small, but wonderful way for us to show veterans that we support them and thank them for their service,” says City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick.

According to Census data from 2017, Ithaca had roughly 360 veterans living in the community.

“Greenlight A Vet is a natural fit for Downtown Ithaca, a community filled with shops, restaurants and office workers who regularly illustrate their support of military families,” says Gary Ferguson, executive director for the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

Greenlight A Vet was launched as an advocacy program in 2015 by Walmart under its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment program that aims to hire 250,000 veterans by 2020. The national retailer created Greenlight a Vet with the intent of drawing attention to the professional and personal struggles many veterans face after their military service ends.coped with deployments since 2001.  Locally, Cornell University’s Undergraduate Veterans Association, which represents more than 250 veterans at Cornell, spearheads annual Greenlight a Vet participation at the university and it reached out to the City of Ithaca this year to support the initiative.

Greenlight A Vet calls for Americans to display green lights on their homes and offices to show support for the more than 2.5 million families who have The campaign uses green lights because it is the color of hope, renewal and well-being and a symbolic sign of gratitude. The term “greenlight” is also a term commonly used military term to motivate forward movement, according to the organizers of the campaign. The action of using green lights is intended to start a conversation about veterans, and “greenlight” them as valued members of the community.

Greenlight A Vet campaign organizers hope this campaign inspires the public to further support the troops and their families while also encouraging vets to seek the support they may need.

According to, “America’s veterans are some of our nation’s bravest, hardest-working men and women. However, it’s hard to show them the appreciation they deserve when, back home and out of uniform, they’re more camouflaged than ever. ‘GreenLight A Vet’ is a campaign to establish visible national support for our veterans by changing one light to green.”

Since 2016, the campaign has seen more than 9.3 million online acts of support as participants post pictures of their green lights using the hashtag #greenlightavet.

If you are interested in learning more about the “Greenlight a Vet” program and how you can participate, visit



Darlene M. Wilber, Communications Manager
Downtown Ithaca Alliance