“Message in a Bottle” Effort Offers New Opportunity to Reach out to Friends and Family of Fallen
by K. Tsetsi
Americans have long wanted to express their gratitude and their sympathies to the friends and families of the fallen. Now they can.
AUGUST 14, 2011 — A series of tragedies in Afghanistan over the last week has left forty families grieving the loss of a service member, and as the stories have played out on the news, Americans with no military connection have wondered how to express their deep condolences and sincere gratitude to the service members’ families and friends who have lost so much – not just over the last week, but over the last decade.
When people have thoughts or feelings too powerful or difficult to express to another individual, they sometimes write them down on paper, tuck them inside a bottle, and toss them into sea as a way of releasing them into the world – and possibly into the hands of someone who finds the bottle and becomes the recipient of the deepest heart of a stranger.
“‘Like’ it for TIME” (LIFT) offers Americans something far better than a message in a bottle, because all messages will be received: LIFT invites the public to share their heartfelt messages with the loved ones of military by writing a message on a strip of paper and – rather than tossing it out to sea – mailing it to LIFT, where it will become part of a global paper chain serving as a lasting tribute to military families.
“I think there are things people want to say to the families of the fallen, even if it’s just ‘I’m so sorry for your loss,’ or ‘Thank you for your sacrifice,’ but saying that to a stranger can feel awkward,” says LIFT founder Kristen Tsetsi. “And how do you find the families? Do you track them down through a series of online searches? That would feel somehow wrong. And yet, people – even fellow military family members – really, really want to let the friends and family of fallen service members know they’re out there, that they care, and that they’re aware of the effects of these long wars.”
LIFT LINK LOVE (http://likeitfortime.com/lift-link-love/) will loop together the individual links mailed in by people from around the globe until they form one very long paper chain. The completed chain will be used in a special project to be announced at a later date.
“There’s something about all of these messages coming together and forming a single, tangible collection of well-wishes and support that is particularly meaningful,” Tsetsi says.
To share a message with friends and families of the fallen and become a link in a chain of awareness and acknowledgement, write your note on a piece of paper (about an inch wide, and the length of the end of a standard sheet of paper) and mail the flat, un-taped strip to
LIFT LINK LOVE
9435 Lorton Market St #206
Lorton VA 22079
For more information about LIFT LINK LOVE, please visit
Since TIME Magazine's first issue
in 1927, the Military Family has never been Person of the Year. After a decade of continuous war in the Middle East, IT'S TIME. Join LIFT on Facebook. "Like" It For TIME.