[City] Observes Moment of Silence, Prayer to Honor Coronavirus Victims
[DATELINE]: A citywide moment of silence and prayer will be/was held in [city], Monday at 12:00 p.m. to lament and mourn 100,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus.
Mayor [ NAME ] led the moment of silence at [location]. Musicians played “Taps” while flags were lowered to half staff and local musician [insert name] played “Precious Lord” followed by Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other religious leaders who delivered messages of comfort for the families of those who have died, for communities in trauma, and for healing of the nation.
INSERT QUOTE FROM RELIGIOUS LEADER
The mayor noted the trauma we have experienced as a nation and called on all people to take a moment to stop, breathe, grieve, and say the names of those who have died.
INSERT QUOTE FROM MAYOR
"Together, interfaith leaders and mayors across the nation will seek to transcend our divisions and call us to lament, mourn, and honor the dead. One hundred thousand people is 500 plane crashes with 200 passengers on board each one (there have only been 33 airplane crashes with 200 or more fatalities in world history. In our own city, [INSERT number of dead] are part of that national 100,000," said Mayor [name]
In a mayoral proclamation, [mayor's name] ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff on Monday, June 1.
The National Day of Mourning and Lament follows a weekend of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian services (including Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical, African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American), all united in a time of lament and mourning for the dead.
“The vocation of remembering and honoring the dead transcends politics and unites us across lines of religion,” said Jim Wallis, founder of the Christian group Sojourners in Washington, D.C.
The group issued a statement saying that “an unprecedented group of 100+ national faith leaders — from Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions” had signed on to the call, as well as the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
INSERT QUOTE FROM RELIGIOUS LEADER
Many localities place empty chairs in public settings with the names and photos of the deceased. Some chairs simply carried a number between 1 and 100,000.
According to several coronavirus trackers, the United States crossed over 100,000 deaths this week. Many suggest that this number may be a low estimate because people who have died at home are not included in this data.
Religious leaders also stressed that though the pandemic is still unfolding, the nation needs time to heal and to learn hard truths that the coronavirus has revealed.
"Our lament also honors hard truths we have learned during this pandemic: Our suffering has been unequal, elders have been vulnerable and alone, black and brown neighbors have borne disproportionately both the brunt of sickness and death and the front lines labor of fighting this disease. Native communities, our land's original caretakers, have been particularly hard hit — as they have been so many times in the past. Asian Americans have been targeted by hateful words and actions," said Wallis
"Our prayers for the healing of the nation must acknowledge the brokenness of our democracy and rededicate ourselves to repair the injustices this pandemic has revealed, even as work for the healing of those who are afflicted with the virus. We pray together today for the healing of the nation; and recommit ourselves to the difficult work ahead," said Mayor [name].
On Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, President Trump tweeted that he ordered flags be lowered on government buildings to half-staff to remember Americans who have died of coronavirus. He noted flags will remain at half-staff on Monday for Memorial Day. Traditionally, flags are lowered until noon on Memorial Day, then raised again to honor living veterans.
Governor [name] has asked the state house to declare Monday, June 1 as a statewide day of lament mourning for the 100,000 American deaths.