Tech Companies Launch “Give Thanks America”

New York City fire fighters and police became the first to participate in a high tech initiative Tuesday that lets people record and send digital video e-mail messages of support and thanks to military personnel overseas.

“Give Thanks America,” launched yesterday with the help of companies like Compaq Computer , Digital Island and Sorenson Media

The initial phase of the project was launched simultaneously in New York and two sites in Washington, D.C., The Pentagon and the VFW Memorial Building, and will run until Friday.

“Americans continue to ask what they can do to show their support for the war on terrorism,” says New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. “This is one way: sending a message of pride, thanks and support to our men and women now deployed in harm’s way.”

Mayor Giuliani says the messages can also be sent to other men and women in uniform who protect our freedom and American way of life: fire fighters and police.

Compaq is supplying the computer and server hardware. Its partner companies, San Francisco-based Digital Island (a Cable & Wireless property) is providing its 2Way Web Services through managed hosting and content delivery and Salt Lake City-based Sorensen’s webcasting service was selected to support the “Give Thanks America” initiative because it automates the process for streaming pre-recorded video content.

In addition to New York and Washington, D.C., Americans will be able to utilize the technology to record their Give Thanks America messages over three-day periods from Dec. 7 through 9 at special sites in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Dallas, Houston, Salt Lake City, San Diego and San Jose.

The video segments will be uploaded onto the Web and made available for access by troops, fire fighters and police officers.

A mobile Give Thanks America “movie studio” will travel to 11 cities and smaller towns across the Southwest and West beginning with San Antonio on Dec. 8. Other cities on the mobile tour include El Paso, Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Lawton (OK) and Killeen (TX).

The companies say additional sites will be announced at a later date.

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