During World War II, servicemen wore an identification bracelet as part of their uniform. They ranged from bent metal bands to metal plates on thick chains. Each were engraved with key elements of identification, including name, rank, and serial number.
Many of the enlisted continued to wear their bracelets well after the war, as a signifier of their participation and to connect with other veterans. It remained a popular practice through the 1940s.
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The popularity of the ID bracelet made its way to Life Magazine's reporting on women's fashion trends, as well as landing a role in Hollywood, featured on Al Pacino's wrist in The Godfather - he was a GI before he became a made man.
Fast forward to the 1970s. Non-military Americans wore ID bracelets with names of soldiers missing in action or prisoners of the Korean and Vietnam wars. These were made of steel, silver, copper, or aluminum. If a soldier made it home, that bracelet was sent to them. If the soldier's body was found, the bracelets were mailed to their family. It showed these brave souls were not lost to history. They were remembered. Someone out there cared.
The ID bracelets
continued to gain popularity well into the 90s and 00s, being featured in menswear and fashion mags all around the globe.
These classic, simple designs are meant to be worn by anyone, and to go with any outfit. Dressed up, or down, the popularity of the ID bracelet has never faded.
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