US copies UK’s #LightItBlue campaign – and they’re not messing about

Landmarks across America turned blue on Thursday night, in recognition of frontline workers battling coronavirus.

Following in the footsteps of the UK #LightItBlue campaign, the US joined in a show of colour as a way to say thank-you to essential staff in the fight against COVID-19.

Staples Center says thank you to all those fighting COVID-19. Pic: @LALIVE
Image:Staples Center says thank-you to all those fighting COVID-19. Pic: @LALIVE

More than 350 venues including Niagara Falls, One World Trade Center and Madison Square Garden turning into a beacon of blue amid the outbreak.

The #LightItBlue tribute was marked in the normally bustling Times Square, which now lies eerily empty of people.

Staples Center arena in downtown Los Angeles shone blue with messages of thanks.

Pic: @sforevergeorgia
Image:The Six Flags Over Georgia ride. Pic @sforevergeorgia

Soldier Field in Chicago, the Bank of America Plaza in Dallas and Boston City Hall all did their part too.

LED lights were used to colour historic buildings and sports, civic and arts organisations from coast to coast.

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Baseball team the Pitsburgh Pirates ditched their traditional gold and lit PNC Park blue, while American football team the Washington Redskins also swapped from their burgundy, gold and white.

An empty LAX airport, with flights severely restricted due to the virus. Pic: @flyLAXairport
Image:An empty LAX airport, with flights severely restricted due to the virus. Pic: @flyLAXairport
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum's flame shines out from a pool of blue. Pic: @LAColiseum
Image:Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum’s flame shines out from a pool of blue. Pic: @LAColiseum

At a time of isolation and uncertainty, the thank-you effort aims to create a universal moment of solidarity and support.

The #LightItBlue campaign creator Gary White says the initiative has really brought the community together.

St Louis Wheel at Union Station shines blue from 200ft up. Pic: @stlouiswheel
Image:St Louis Wheel at Union Station shines blue from 200ft up. Pic: @stlouiswheel
Pittsburgh Pirates ditched gold for blue . Pic: @Pirates
Image:Pittsburgh Pirates ditched their gold for blue . Pic: @Pirates

“Each week new venues and landmarks turn blue as a show of solidarity and thanks. We’re pleased that our friends in the USA are joining to start a global thank-you for all healthcare workers,” he said.

While the US doesn’t have a national health service, the tribute recognises the millions of essential workers continuing in their roles, risking their own health to help others during the pandemic.

America will now continue the campaign every week during the pandemic.

Washington Redskins FedX Field swap from burgundy, gold to blue. Pic: FedExField
Image:The Washington Redskins’ FedX Field swapped from burgundy and gold to blue. Pic: FedExField

For the last two weeks, UK landmarks including Windsor Castle, Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Stadium have lit up blue at 8pm on Thursday evening.

The visual show of national gratitude also coincides with the Clap For Carers campaign, which sees people step out onto their doorsteps and balconies, and come to their windows at the same time to give key workers a round of applause.

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Tens of thousands have been taking part, including politicians, celebrities and royalty.

The UK campaign also invites Britons to continue to show thanks and spread positivity by creating blue-themed images and videos and sharing them online with #MakeItBlue and challenging others to follow suit.

People can take part while staying safe indoors, by painting themselves blue, wearing blue or turning their social media backgrounds blue.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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