Topeka, KS– The Kansas Association of Counties, along with many Kansas Counties, are pleased to announce that county courthouses and other buildings, as well as offices, including KAC’s Topeka office, will be illuminated green beginning today, from November 7-13, 2022, as part of Operation Green Light, a new national collaborative initiative of KAC’s national partner, the National Association of Counties (NACo) to support military veterans, as well as raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by many veterans and the resources that are available at the county, state, and federal level to assist veterans and their families.
The new national collaborative is spearheaded by NACo and the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers, building upon the successful efforts of the New York State Association of Counties and the NYS County Veteran Service Officers’ Association in 2021.
“Since the tragedy of September 11, 2001, our nation’s voluntary military force members, and their families, have made immense sacrifices for our safety and security over a two-decade period,” said KAC Executive Director Bruce Chladny. “Similar to the sacrifices of previous generations of our armed forces, their service to our country also often results in significant stress to many of the veterans who served in times of war and conflict. We want to ensure that our veterans and their families know that their service mattered, that we are grateful for their sacrifices, and that it is now our turn to make sure they are served by their county government and local communities.”
In addition to lighting county buildings, residents and businesses are encouraged to participate by simply changing one light bulb in their house to a green bulb. This can be an exterior light that neighbors and passersby see, or an interior light that sparks a conversation with friends.
“By shining a green light, we let our veterans know that they are seen, appreciated, and supported,” shared KAC Board President Kenny Baccus, Ottawa County Noxious Weed Director. “Here in my home county, Ottaway County, we are lighting our county courthouse and other county buildings green throughout the week-long event recognizing our veterans.”
Along with Ottawa County, numerous other Kansas County Commissions passed a proclamation in support of Operation Green Light to light their county buildings green. These counties are also encouraging local citizens and businesses to light their homes and buildings green.
- Allen County: Lighting their county courthouse green.
- Atchison County: Lighting their courthouse clock tower green.
- Barton County: Lighting their Golden Belt Veterans Memorial green.
- Butler County: Lighting their county courthouse green.
- Clay County: Lighting their county courthouse green.
- Cowley County: Lighting all entryways of county facilities green.
- Dickinson County: Lighting their county courthouse green.
- Geary County: Turning the majority of county-owned buildings’ exterior lighting green.
- Jefferson County: Lighting their county courthouse green.
- Leavenworth County: Lighting their county courthouse and grounds green.
- Miami County: Lighting their county administration building green.
- McPherson County: Lighting each window in their county courthouse green.
- Montgomery County: Lighting their county courthouse green.
- Neosho County: Lighting their courthouse green. Placing a banner outside their courthouse encouraging everyone to light their homes or businesses green.
- Osage County: Lighting their county courthouse green.
- Pawnee County: Lighting their county courthouse green.
- Riley County: Green lights will be installed and displayed along Poyntz Avenue in Downtown Manhattan (county seat).
- Sedgwick County: Lighting their county courthouse green.
- Shawnee County: Lighting their county courthouse green.
- Sumner County: Lighting their county courthouse green.
While this event is focused around the week of Veterans Day (November 7-13), participants are encouraged to continue shining the light year-round. Residents and business owners can share their participation on social media using the hashtag #OperationGreenLight.
“Operation Green Light is a simple way to express our collective appreciation for the public service of our veterans,” said NACo President Denise Winfrey. “We encourage everyone to join us in displaying a green light for our veterans and to also reflect on how we, as a nation and at the county level, assist our military service personal back into civilian life upon completion of their service to our country.”
The Kansas Association of Counties is a quasi-public agency, which seeks to advance the public interest by promoting effective, responsive county government in Kansas. Founded in 1975, as an instrumentality of its member counties, KAC serves county governments through: legislative representation, technical assistance, leadership, and professional education.