Memorial Day 2020

A National Day of Mourning

Monday, May 25th

Let’s all join together on that day and light a candle at sunset,step outside, and silently contemplate and remember.

This year please join us in also mourning those lives lost to COVID-19 and COVID-related illness. The idea of a National Day of Mourning is that of the daughter of NWNM member, Merna Brostoff. The statement below was accepted and approved by her Quaker community in Chicago, where Eva is a data scientist at Northwestern Medicine.

Northside Friends Meeting is a Quaker meeting located in the Uptown Neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and Illinois quarantine we have continued to worship and share fellowship over video from our homes and have drawn comfort and strength from this continuing connection to our community.

At a recent check-in video call, we share how we felt affected by the pandemic-we spoke of feeling sorrow, frustration, fear, guild, and despair. Although these feelings were painful, we felt lifted at being able to be together in our sorrow.

We know this crisis if far from over. We will experience more frustrationand fear and guilt and despair and terrible, terrible loss. But we know too that sorrow shared is sorrow halved and serves none of us to carry our burdens alone.

There has been no call from the US government t for a Day of Mourning to acknowledge the grief and loss caused by the pandemic thus far. As people of faith, it falls to us. Our testimony of integrity compels to speak truth—we will not deny our grief nor refuse to acknowledge our loss.

Our testimony of equality compels us to see the privilege enjoyed by those whom the pandemic has touched lightly and witness the pain of those whom the pandemic has wounded deeply. Our testimony of community compels us to come together—as Quakers, Chicagoans, American, humans, and children of the Earth. We invite all people to hold Memorial Day, Monday May 25, 2020, as a Day of Mourning.

We invite you to take time and to share your burdens with your loved ones and the communities from which you draw comfort and strength. We too will be worshiping together on that day and gather with you in spirit.

We also invite you to join with us in a visible action. At sundown wherever you live, light a candle and step outside and hold a moment of silence for what we have lost together.