Red Ribbon Week

Jacob Blauvelt

Red Ribbon Week. We have all heard of it, participated in school-wide activities, or just dressed up for the occasion. But what cause are we supporting? This is a question many students ask themselves or others come the last week of October, and frankly, countless individuals don’t have an answer.

Being the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program, Red Ribbon Week serves as an opportunity and method for communities and individuals to take a stand against drug abuse and educate others on its destruction. This cause is celebrated annually October 23rd – 31st.

From a young age, many of us are told to say no to drugs. It may have seemed like another phrase that was tossed at us without any meaning, but this is not the case. As a kid, we would think this was obvious. Growing up and associating these beliefs with such a foreign concept at the time, for some may have been enough to steer them away from drugs. For others, they end up falling into peer pressure or just become curious.

Here at Cypress Creek, we want to illustrate our commitment to others by promising to live drug-free. Red Ribbon Week commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena, who died at the hands of drug traffickers in Mexico while fighting the battle against illegal drugs to keep our country and children safe. As a tribute to Special Agent Camarena, high school friend, Henry Lozano and Congressman Duncan Hunter, founded the “Camarena Clubs” and the wearing of a red ribbon to show their oppositions to drugs.

In 1988, the National Family Partnership arranged the first National Red Ribbon Week with President Reagan and the first lady, serving as Honorary Chairpersons. Since then, the Red Ribbon campaign has taken on national significance, and NFP continues to coordinate the campaign for families, communities, and schools across the nation each year. As a community, we use this week in October to represent our pledge to live drug-free and honors the sacrifice of all who have lost their lives in the fight against drugs.

By wearing a red ribbon during the last week in October, Americans demonstrate their passionate opposition to drugs. They pay admiration not only to Special Agent Camarena but to every person that sacrificed themselves in support of our nation’s struggle against drug trafficking and abuse.