It didn’t take long before people both within and outside of Japan realized that the rapidly spreading coronavirus might be majorly problematic for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Although the event isn’t scheduled to start until later this year, on July 24th, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that if the threat of the disease continues to grow, the most likely outcome will be the outright cancellation of the Games – rather than being postponed or relocated.
Since the establishment of the modern-day Olympics in 1896, the Games have only been canceled during times of war. Back in the day, worldwide travel looked almost nothing like what it looks like now. Flights across the world then were far less frequent, and required far more preparation. But this new cause for concern is one that both people and officials alike can’t ignore.
Unfortunately, it’s too soon to tell what this future will hold…and it’s too late to expect another city to be reliably safer – let alone, able to come up with all of the resources and planning needed to host in Japan’s stead. The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee has reported the budget for the Games at 1.35 trillion yen (12.2 billion dollars) – however, Japan’s Board of Audit estimates that after central and local government spending, the real cost will be more than double that figure.
While the numbers aren’t that high yet, the potential for higher numbers needs to be recognized. Currently, all kinds of other athletic events are being canceled to try and contain the spread of the virus, and turn around its potency before summer comes around with its promise of the Olympics. And some of Japan’s biggest corporations, including Sony, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and telecoms giant NTT, have instructed staff to work from home.
But the IOC’s stance is that its final decision will rely on consultations with the World Health Organization, a United Nations body, to make any move.
Counting Down the Days
When it comes to military homecoming signs, some are more common than others. For example, this sign counts the days that a loved one has been away and is frequently seen among the signs for military other halves. Think about it — your loved one has been gone for what feels like an endless amount of time. Of course, you’ll write exactly how many days it’s been on a sign. People need to know! 428 days apart is no easy feat.
My Soldier Is Back
Alternatively, some people with military homecoming signs use cute rhymes and poems to express themselves. This sweet placard for a returning sailor takes the usual Valentine’s Day “roses are red” poem, and adapts it for a sailor’s blue eyes and black boots. Adorable! Of course, lots of military homecoming signs also include the soldier’s name and title. After all, in a sea of families and other halves, you need them to spot you and your sign!
A List of First Kisses
It’s a tough life dating and being married to a soldier. Remember that country music song by The Chicks called “Traveling Soldier?” It details the moving relationship between a young woman and her soldier beau, and the time spent waiting for letters between deployments. This military wife counts every time she sees her soldier again as a “first kiss.” Her adorable homecoming sign is a list of dates celebrating each one. We’re not crying — you are!
Permission to Play Xbox, Sir
Some military partners get super creative when it comes to creating their homecoming signs. This specially made banner has all sorts of personalized content including a photograph and a funny yet thoughtful message. This adorable homecoming banner even uses military language so returning soldiers will feel right at home. “Permission to play Xbox, Captain?” “Permission granted.” This lucky soldier is coming home to video games, extra portions of food, and the right to leave the toilet seat up. Sounds good to us!
Kisses for the Missus
Imagine the bittersweet moment of getting engaged right before having to wave goodbye to your brand new fiancé for an extended period of time. For any star crossed lovers enlisted in the military, long times away from each other are part and parcel of the experience. It’s tough, but it’s worth it. This giddy fiancé isn’t a Mrs. just yet, but that isn’t going to stop her from getting her kisses from her returning future husband. This guy better kiss her, and kiss her quick!
A Ruff Few Days
Who doesn’t want to see a homecoming sign from their dog? In all honesty, if this dog has anything else to say, then we’re all ears. We tip our hats off to this four-legged furry guy for all his effort and creativity. We’ll help with any future signs! Of course, returning soldiers have families, spouses, and kids to reunite with, but what about their pets? After all, it’s been a rough time for this good boy, and he can’t wait to finally be reunited with his pal.
Red, White, and Blue
Making a sweet military homecoming sign is mainly about expressing how you feel, but also about being spotted in the crowd. Imagine eventually arriving home in a throng of people and trying desperately to find your other half. Therefore, some military signs are themed so returning soldiers and sailors can try to quickly find their partners. This adorable nautical sign uses navy and white stripes, a gold anchor, and the colors of the U.S. flag. We love it!
Get Out of Our Way!
And of course, we can’t forget the kiddies! Whether it’s newborn babies, excited toddlers, or grinning kids, military homecomings are full of little ones anxiously waiting for their parent to return. Making homecoming signs is a great activity for military children. They can help with the painting, gluing and glitter before getting to proudly hold the sign up on that special day. These cuties want everyone to get out of their way, and we can certainly see why.
I’m Your Baby
Does everyone remember when Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepson took the world by storm with her 2011 track “Call Me Maybe?” It went like this: “Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe.” This song was everywhere, and clearly it has made its way into several military homecoming signs, too. For this family, it’s baby Connor’s way of introducing himself to his daddy for the first time.
The Boy Is Mine
Being a part of the military community brings connection as well as loneliness. While military partners may have to wait months to be with their loved one, at least they have a wider community around them that’s likely experiencing the same thing. Military families often live on army bases, which means everyone is going through something similar. In this sign, a soldier’s other half alludes to the community but has her eyes fixed on just one man. That one is hers!
We Need to Chalk
Speaking of homecoming signs that buck the trend, this chalk art is a beautiful way of making a temporary welcome sign out of the driveway or front yard. Rather than — or as well as — a classic placard sign, this chalk art shows everyone that you’re celebrating. Any neighbors or passersby can clearly see that it’s an important day. And, it’s an extra surprise for when your serviceperson finally arrives back home. This colorful chalk sign is both thoughtful and pretty.
Stripped Back Signage
We have to admit that we have a soft spot for the understated homecoming sign in the middle of this picture. Whilst the lovely ladies on either side have made detailed and colorful signs, the woman in the center has gone with a simple yet effective “oh hey.” This stripped-back sentiment is highlighted even more so due to the fact that it’s on a small piece of plain paper and drawn with a black marker.
Puppy, Check Check
Some military children simply need time with their returning parents straight away! These little cuties have waited for months, which is some seriously impressive patience for such small people. Think about it — they’ve missed out on storytime, family trips, and being put to bed by one of their parents. Life isn’t easy for army bubs! So, we can’t blame little Ava for squeezing in an extra request on her daddy’s to-do list. Singing, check. Playing, check. Puppy…? Double-check!
You’ve Got the Job
So, some military homecoming signs are super sentimental while others decide to take a more humorous route. Take this sign, for instance. This cutie is clearly excited to see his daddy, but not as much as his mom is. Military parents have to hold down the fort while their partner is away. Of course, this means looking after all the little ones and making sure they’re fed as well as happy. Understandably, this mom must feel like she’s in need of a break.
Have a Little Patience
This little one isn’t just holding a homemade sign for her returning daddy. She’s also dressed up in her special t-shirt for the big day. We can’t even imagine how difficult it must be for a child to be separated from their parent for so long. After all, nine months is enough time to grow an entirely new person! Waiting nine months for a hug is a sign of some serious patience for a child this small. Kudos, young one!
Keep Calm, Here I Am
“Keep Calm and Carry On” is a British sentiment that’s become more popular in recent years. You can find the slogan on dishtowels, mugs, and even on picture frames. It’s an understandable message for a military family — stay calm, and keep going. This adorable homecoming message uses the slogan but makes it even sweeter. Plus, this well-made sign uses military camouflage, American flags, and an anchor instead of an “and” sign. Ten out of ten for design!
Less Is More
Sometimes, less is more, and that’s certainly true for this simple military homecoming sign. The straightforward sign uses just three words that undoubtedly communicate the message perfectly. Waiting for a serviceperson to return from the military is long, difficult, and sometimes scary. Of course, for a partner, it would feel like the “best day ever” to see that special someone after months apart. The solid black background on this sign really allows the stripped-back message to pop, don’t you think?
Hey, I Just Met You
Here we have another ode to Carly Rae Jepson’s 2011 banger “Call Me Maybe.” We can’t blame these military families for having fun with the lyrics. After all, it’s a catchy tune with a title that rhymes with “baby.” It would almost be wrong not to make this reference! Anyway, lovely little Harper’s sign uses “Call Me Maybe” to introduce herself to her dad. We can’t imagine what it would be like to meet your child like this, but we think Harper is making a great first impression.
Red, White, and You
Here’s another squishy-cheeked baby that’s going to meet her daddy for the very first time. Whoever made this sign opted for the red, white, and blue color palette, which matches the little flag attached to the baby stroller. Incredibly, this sweet baby really has waited her entire life to meet her daddy. Service people can be called away at any time, even if their other half is expecting a child. We bet it was worth the wait!
I Need a Hero
This little girl’s adorable homecoming sign says what so many military family members must feel. This little one sees herself as daddy’s princess, and who could blame her? With her blonde hair and tiny stature, this pintsize angel looks exactly like a miniature royal. And of course, what else does a princess need other than a hero? This adorable homecoming sign is pretty in pink at the beginning before transitioning into a patriotic display of red, white, and blue.
Hi to This Guy
It’s hard to look at this military homecoming sign and not immediately start singing “You’re Welcome” from Moana. Or is that just us? In the movie, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as demi-god Maui sings, “What has two thumbs that pulled up the sky? When you were waddling yay high? This guy!” This sign uses the same logic. Who’s excited to see this soldier return home? Well — whoever sticks their head in the magic spot. We love it!
I Am Your Father
In case you couldn’t tell, we enjoy a good pop culture reference. And this family gets a full ten out of ten for their witty yet adorable military homecoming sign. For all of the Star Wars fans out there, this sign makes reference to an iconic line from the franchise. As well as the hilarious reference to Star Wars dialogue, there’s also the amazing visual reference to Princess Leia’s hair. Finally, there’s the “look”-“Luke” pun. A round of applause for these people right here!
Emergency Underwear S.O.S
This military family have also opted for a cheeky and adorable message on their homecoming sign. What would a returning soldier want to do after coming home to her loved ones? Well, after hugging and spending time with her adorable sons, this lucky servicewoman can look forward to washing underwear. Perhaps washing your children’s underwear is one of those small things a soldier misses while being stationed away. Maybe this soldier would even lay awake at night, dreaming of washing tiny undergarments — or, maybe not.
I Pledge Allegiance
Of course, many military homecoming signs are decorated with the flag of the country the soldier is serving. In our case, lots of adorable signs are decorated with the American flag — and in the classic red, white, and blue color palette. This back-to-basics sign uses the actual flag design, with a simple but powerful message — you are my hero. For returning service people, the stars and stripes are a symbol of community, family, and belonging.
Pass the Paints
We’ve seen signs with the simple words, “Best Day Ever” written across them. It’s a powerful message, expressed in one short phrase. Whether it’s red, white, and blue — or a multi-colored and hand-painted like this sign — these three words get the message across in the most perfect way. Making signs is a great time to get crafting with little ones, and it looks like this cutie has had fun joining in. This family should frame and display their adorable handprinted paint creation to remember the joyous occasion.
Hugs ‘N’ Kisses
We have to say that this adorable homecoming sign might be our favorite on the whole list. Just look at that little cutie’s face, and wonder in amazement at the individually cut out, multi-colored holographic letters! Whoever helped this sweet angel design this sign deserves some serious praise. And what a lucky returning soldier to get free hugs from the cutest child around. Plus, this sign is pretty adaptable if the letters are detachable. Win, win!
Mom in Need
Here’s another army baby that’s had to spend some of their first days, weeks, or months away from their military parent. Kaden’s mom clearly still has a sense of humor about the military lifestyle, and has enjoyed imagining what little Kaden would say to his soldier daddy. Of course, what Kaden’s mom is actually thinking about is the major TLC she needs right about now! Run this lady a bubble bath, organize a sitter, and take her out for a delicious meal.
Long-Distance Love Story
Being in a long-distance relationship is difficult, and even more so when your other half is enlisted in the military. Your partner might be stationed somewhere dangerous and far away, and they might not even have Wi-Fi signal or access to their cell phone. It makes sense that military partners and spouses need to pick up where they left off. Being in the military is a lifestyle, and people often have no choice over the smaller details. This beautiful sign expresses just that.
A Christmas Gift
When it comes to the holidays, many military families look forward to being reunited with their loved ones. Whether it’s only for a few days or for a longer break, it’s extra special being able to spend big events or holidays with the most important people in your life. This homecoming sign has decided to celebrate the holidays by combining Christmas and military styles. After all, in the army, Christmas colors must be green, red, and camouflage. With a festive oversized bow, this partner just wants her soldier home for Christmas.
Two Worlds Collide
When you’re separated from the person you love, it can feel like you’re on different planets. For military couples, one person may be going to work, seeing family and friends, and enjoying themselves. Meanwhile, the other person could be in extreme conditions, or could even be in danger. For these couples, the relief of coming together after time spent in totally different environments must be immense. This sign captures this feeling perfectly — finally, two worlds can collide again.
Kiss Me Quick
Some military homecoming signs just need a simple rhyme to be effective. Thank goodness “Mrs.” and “kisses” rhyme so perfectly, because that’s exactly what plenty of military wives want from their husbands when they return from overseas. A quick peck on the cheek is easy to take for granted if you get one every day. Likewise, a good-morning and goodnight kiss is something many couples don’t even register. Understandably, this military spouse has waited long enough for hers.
A Need for Speed
Signs, placards, and banners are great but there are other ways to welcome home military personnel. We’ve already seen some homecoming chalk art, and here we have a message written on the back window of a vehicle. This excited military girlfriend decided to apologize in advance for any speeding that she might have done on the way to pick up her boyfriend. This sweet message shows just how exciting it is to see a soldier returning from deployment. Let’s just hope she can still see through the back window!
Give it a Spin
Military homecoming signs can vary in terms of message, but also in terms of design. This cute kissing poem is a popular choice for homecoming signs, but whoever made this one has given it their own spin. Firstly, the giant arrow shape points directly at whoever is holding it. This means that whoever has it can spin it around like they work outside a store, drawing even more attention to themselves. The arrow shape is inspired, and we’re also fans of the bright red lips. Mwah!
Deployed for Duty
There are many different types of relationship, and arguably many different levels of love. Some people’s love is long-distance strong, others’ love is high-school sweetheart strong, and then are those who are soulmate strong. According to this sign, though, there is such thing as deployment strong, too. We fully endorse the idea of love being “deployment strong” because it takes a seriously tough couple to get through military deployment. When soldiers are deployed, their families have no choice regarding the location or length of time. These folks have to be tough!
Half of My Heart
Has anyone ever heard John Mayer’s 2010 song “Half of my Heart?” It’s all we can think about when we look at this adorable homecoming sign. “Oh half of my heart’s got a grip on the situation. Half of my heart takes time.” Understandably, this military girlfriend feels like half of her heart is across the world whenever she’s separated from her enlisted partner. It must be a huge relief to finally be able to feel whole again.
Obviously, when people are separated for long periods of time, physical changes happen. It could be a new hairstyle, loss or gain in weight, or a cool new tattoo or piercing. But, what about when you’ve grown an entirely new human being inside you? These incredible military mommas give birth and raise their babies alone before getting the chance to introduce them to their daddies. This new mom’s sign reminds her other half that although she’s gained a little weight, they now have a new addition to the family.
Miss You Miles
Military personnel can be shuttled all over the world. They can end up on any continent, and living in all sorts of extreme conditions. In fact, many enlisted service people end up visiting and living in many countries during their time in the forces. Kenya, Poland, Indonesia — you name it, they’ve seen it. World travel is the subject matter for this adorable set of homecoming signs. This mother and son miss their husband and dad so much more than the miles he has traveled throughout his deployment.
The Star-Spangled Banner
The phrase on this military homecoming banner works in several ways. Of course, whoever made this sign is celebrating that their loved one is returning home. However, they mention that they’re always under the same stars together. Naturally, everyone lives under the same stars. We can all look up and feel comfort in knowing that we share the same, beautiful, starry sky. But, at least now, this family is finally under the same roof again.
Forever and Ever
Here we have another sweet, rhyming message that perfectly encapsulates the emotion of a military homecoming. For this military partner, the time and distance spent away from her loved one is only physical. Whilst there might be miles of ocean, desert, or mountains between the two star-crossed lovers, it doesn’t feel that far in this person’s heart. We also approve of the simple design on this sign. The simple black and white color palette makes the red heart really stand out.
A Pouty Placard
We’ve seen a couple of signs that share a similar message to this one, but we have to give it to this cheeky placard for its flirty design. This lucky lady has come to welcome her returning sailor, and she knows exactly what she wants. As well as the classic rhyme — which gives us flashbacks to middle school — this sign is decorated with lots of little kisses. We bet that this loved-up lady applied lipstick and kissed the board all over.