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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

555 “At the blueness of skies and in the warmth of summer, we remember them.”

Day 555 Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

“At the blueness of skies and in the warmth of summer, we remember them.”

– Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Reimer

We have now lost more than 675,000 mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers to Covid-19. The losses are so personal for all of us. And each soul lost is a tragedy for a family, a community and our nation. Most have died alone, absent from families and friends who desire only to hold their hands one last time, to offer a caress or a smile, to say farewell or express their love... one last time.

We have lost more Americans than those who died during the 1918 influenza pandemic.

We remember them:

In Washington, D.C., a new temporary art installation named “In America: Remember,” commemorates the many Americans who have died of COVID-19 over the past year and a half. Hundreds of thousands of small white flags were planted on 20 acres of the National Mall, based on a concept by the artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg. Each flag is meant to represent a life lost, and many carry messages written to loved ones.

Most of us will not be able to visit this immense field of flags on the National Mall, in Washington, DC, from September 17 - October 3, 2021. But we are invited to participate by personalizing a flag for someone we have lost. We can dedicate a flag using the website until September 30th, and a volunteer will write our words on one of the tiny flags.

Please go to this website and fill out the form to honor someone lost to Covid.

Though we need to weep your loss,

You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,

Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn

Brightening over our lives

Awakening beneath the dark

A further adventure of colour.

The sound of your voice

Found for us

A new music

That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze

Quickened in the joy of its being;

You placed smiles like flowers

On the altar of the heart.

Your mind always sparkled

With wonder at things.

Though your days here were brief,

Your spirit was live, awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer

From the old distance of our names;

Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,

As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,

We know our soul's gaze is upon your face,

Smiling back at us from within everything

To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,

Where we would grow lonely without you.

You would want us to find you in presence,

Beside us when beauty brightens,

When kindness glows

And music echoes eternal tones.

When orchids brighten the earth,

Darkest winter has turned to spring;

May this dark grief flower with hope

In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us:

To enter each day with a generous heart.

To serve the call of courage and love

Until we see your beautiful face again

In that land where there is no more separation,

Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,

And where we will never lose you again.

John O'Donohue

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