After a weekend of memorial services for loved ones lost to Covid-19, many will think about a proposal for some sort of memorial to honor those who have suffered from the virus. There will be many ideas for this, and the options must be carefully considered to avoid undue disputes that spoil such positive thinking.
A good option might be to have a number of local memorials across the country to help people remember lost love in a meaningful and practical way. Simple things like planting trees or dedicating a garden or part of a public space could be done without much difficulty.
The idea of a series of local memorials to honor all those who have died from Covid-19 also plays a practical role. It would allow relatives, neighbors and friends to visit these places and have the comfort of remembering the person or people they lost.
Such places would also remind everyone that so many of the people lost to Covid-19 were also a great loss to their local communities. So many of those who died during the two years of the pandemic touched so many lives in their areas.
Such thinking comes after many impressive events over the weekend to honor the thousands of people who have died from Covid-19, as well as those who have been impacted by the pandemic. President Michael D. Higgins began a series of commemorations yesterday by ringing the Peace Bell at Áras an Uachtaráin for a symbolic five rings.
The first ring commemorated those who died during the pandemic; the second honored those who made sacrifices; the third was in recognition of the bereaved who lost loved ones; the fourth was for frontline workers; and the last one was for those who still have Covid-19. This was a reminder that this virus is still with us, albeit in a more harmless form, and we must remain cautious.
President Higgins noted that up to half a million Irish had lost loved ones to the pandemic. He also recalled the heartbreak of forced separation, particularly for Irish émigrés and their families.
From his own isolation in Washington after testing positive for Covid-19, Taoiseach Micheál Martin paid special tribute to frontline health workers who were risking their own health
The main ceremony at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance honored all who died during the pandemic and recognized all who helped overcome the challenges. There was a specially commissioned poem, as well as reflections from a hospital chaplain and a representative of the bereaved.
Fittingly, most of those present were representatives of those who have lost loved ones and those who have worked on the front lines for the last two years.
These commemorations and similar events elsewhere gave people a focus to reflect on what everyone has been through. It is to be hoped that they will give food for thought for possible memorial monuments.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/time-to-think-local-about-covid-19-monuments-41468759.html Time to ‘think local’ about Covid-19 monuments.