COVID-19 Remembrance, 12/18
The COVID-19 remembrance ceremony originally planned for December 11, will now be held on the rain date of Saturday, December 18.
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone invites all interested to come together to remember those we have lost to COVID-19 and to recognize the many other losses our community has faced throughout the pandemic. We invite attendees to gather for a simple ceremony, a participatory remembrance project, and musical accompaniment on Saturday, December 18, from 1 to 2 p.m., at Symphony Park, 46 Pearl Street.
“It is heartbreaking that we have lost community members, loved ones, and so many others nationally and globally to COVID, and that we have had so little opportunity to come together to observe and grieve,” said Mayor Curtatone. “We will gather as a community to reflect and remember those we have lost and to acknowledge the many other losses our community has faced – from jobs and income, to missed opportunities and life events, to social contacts, to impacts on physical and mental health. We will also pay tribute to those who have done so much to keep our community safe during this pandemic. By coming together as we close out this year, we hope to play a small role in the healing process and show solidarity and love.”
In addition to a short speaking agenda, attendees will be invited to make a flag of remembrance by drawing a simple image and writing words, thoughts, or poems. These flags will be hung from a pergola at the park to create a temporary memorial. The community is also invited to bring objects or messages meaningful to them to be hung up with the flags or placed on the ground at the base of the pergola.
At the remembrance event, local musician Ken Field will perform a live improvisation on solo saxophone with looping electronics. After the event, a recorded, button-operated music installation and the pergola memorial will both remain at the site, weather permitting, for a few weeks. Field’s musical piece, titled “Thoughts Unspoken,” was improvised in several layers during the recording process and appears on Field’s solo album, Subterranea. It is intended to provide a meditative and reflective aural environment for remembrance and contemplation. The three-minute piece will play once when the button is pushed. The community is invited to visit the site independently to reflect, contribute to the memorial, and listen to the music installation.
Residents also have the option of making a remembrance flag ahead of time to be hung at the event. Starting Friday, December 3, blank flags will be available for pickup at the reception desks of City Hall (93 Highland Avenue) and the City Hall Annex (50 Evergreen Avenue). Blank flags will also be available at the ceremony.
“We chose this small, out-of-the-way neighborhood park to observe our losses not just because it is a peaceful space. Each of us has borne so much of the pandemic alone in our homes in our neighborhoods — just as this park sits nestled in one of our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Curtatone. “But it is our coming together to slow this virus and support one another that is getting us through this challenging time. So we will gather as a community in this quiet neighborhood park as a symbol of our unity, our shared loss, and our shared determination. It is a reminder that we are not alone.”
Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Adrienne Pomeroy at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or ADA@somervillema.gov.