January 20th is just nine days from the writing of this post. That day and the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris cannot come soon enough. A Democratically controlled Senate cannot come soon enough.
For now, however, take a deep breath. Try to stay calm and hope that the days between now and the inauguration won’t spew forth anything more shocking than what we’ve already experienced in the past four years. The list of shocks and insults to the American soul is long and shameful: The daily onslaught of self-serving lies that has cost America its reputation and Americans their lives and livelihoods. The lawlessness. The denials, institutional chaos, and irresponsibility in the face of a deadly pandemic. And, of course, the violent, tragically predictable result of the accumulation of all of those lies and deceptions on the never-to-be-forgotten storming on January 6 of the Capitol Building and the devastating loss of life on that day.
But the day before inauguration day, a less publicized, but equally important event, will take place. The January 19th event is intended to begin a process to right the wrongs of the Trump administration’s depraved abdication of its solemn duty to recognize and remember those Americans who died of COVID-19 on their watch and to acknowledge the grief of their loved ones.
On January 19th, at 5:30pm (ET), the Presidential Inaugural Committee will host a memorial for the 373,000 Americans who have lost their lives in the pandemic. In recognition of the need not just for a national memorial but also for individuals, families, and neighbors to remember together the lives lost closer to home in their own communities, the Inaugural Committee is inviting cities and towns and neighborhoods across the country to light up buildings and ring bells in “a moment of unity and remembrance.”
Here is how Presidential Inaugural Committee Communications Director Pili Tobar describes the event: “. . . in the midst of a pandemic – when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbors – it is important that we honor those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in the nation’s history, and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation.”
Presidential Inaugural Committee Announces Memorial and Nationwide Tribute to Remember and Honor the Lives Lost to COVID-19
Today, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced that it will host a memorial to remember and honor the lives lost to COVID-19 in cities and towns across the country on January 19, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. ET. A Washington, D.C. ceremony will feature a lighting around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. It will be the first-ever lighting around the Reflecting Pool to memorialize American lives lost.
PIC is inviting cities and towns around the country to join Washington, D.C. in illuminating buildings and ringing church bells at 5:30 p.m. ET in a national moment of unity and remembrance.