I lived in Connecticut but went into New York City nearly every weekday when the World Trade Center was attacked. I was home that day and watched the entire event on my TV, worrying about my many friends who lived and worked there.

In the weeks that followed, the faces of the possibly missing were plastered all over the city with achingly poignant messages pleading for information, only to turn into some of the 3,000 dead. Their pictures remained up for a number of weeks, which oddly helped heal many of us who walked by them every day. They became real to us and we could mourn the people we never knew.

Here we are now with more than 100,000 dead from the coronavirus and we are not focusing on them at all. This number is passed over, a part of the damage of the artful virus which seems to attack many aspects of being alive.

It is likely to take the better part of the year, very optimistically, to get a vaccination, according to Dr. Fauci.

I listen to scientists and facts. Politicians have their own interests, and frequently it is not the safety of humanity but the election cycle they care about, be they an incumbent or candidate. I listen to the people whose job it is to get me safely into a harbor of health and not into a polling place.

What I am not hearing — and this not only saddens me but I think also adds to the country’s collective depression — is honoring the dead. Those are nearly invisible to those of us who luckily reside in a relatively safe zone. Relatively.

It is hard enough for those who survive to mourn without the traditions that help them do so. It is hard enough that the dead died alone without comfort that loved ones can give. Imagine the help it might be to all of us to acknowledge the dead.

It is not enough to lower the flags for Memorial Day weekend. That is not the acknowledgment they all need — to be lumped into the honored dead of wars. The COVID-19 dead, all 100,000 and counting, deserve some time of thoughtful reflection, some silence where bells stop, cars stop, we stop to give thanks for their lives, express sorrow for our failings to save them. We stop to give thought for everyone willing to take a risk to help the rest of us.

Instead, we have people who don’t wear masks in public, folks who want to gather in groups in defiance of a public health lockdown. Would you tell the dead they were punked? That the doctors who are exhausted from caring for them are silly? That an artful virus is something that you have the secret element to defy?

My guess is that you don’t have a secret way to beat this virus, that you know people — 100,000 of your American brothers and sisters of all ages — are dead. You know doctors are exhausted from dealing with this.

You know these things, but because we are not in a hot spot, some have come to believe in the magical thinking that the virus stops at the border of our town, our homes, our restaurants

Yet it will not care about your magical thinking. Those who are

asymptomatic carriers and don’t know it will move through our lives, towns and restaurants dropping the virus, innocently, wherever they go. They would not if they knew they were doing that, but they are silently part of the viral world.

Even those of us who own businesses that have been suffering are sacrificing even more money to open up with compliance for our health. We owe them our compliance as well as our ability to spend money with them.

What good is the money if they have to close down again because we don’t keep them safe by masking up? They are sacrificing while we, we are merely waiting.

The real way to honor the dead is to do all we can to reflect on what it means to be alive and well now. Take the time to pray for the dead, the front line folks, to reflect on what will keep us alive and well.

One hundred thousand of our family would gladly wear a mask and stand 6 feet away if only they could be here now. Any of you?

(7) comments

William Dean

Question : Why ?

You honor people that have done something. If you honor people for dying then you have hundreds of millions just in America. Did you think we needed to honor those that have died of the flu. Hundreds of thousands at least over the past few years. Please explain your reasoning.

Kent Misegades

First of all, the total number of those who died explicitly from the Wuhan Chinese flu is probably half or less the number claimed. We know that in the areas that have been impacted most like NYC there has been massive fraud in reporting, likely part of Governor Cuomo’s effort to gain national sympathy and willingness for taxpayers in other states to bailout his failing economy. Ain’t gonna happen. Eventually the truth will prevail and I predict it will show that the infection and death rates were not much higher than the average flu. If you want to honor those who died - why not the 350,000 innocent babies that have been murdered through abortions since January 1st? A disproportionate percentage of these are minority babies in Democrat-run cities like NYC. That these people are ignored is the real tragedy.

Sally Larson

Kent, I think I'm finally feeling sorry for you, you sound like you've gone off the rails with so much misinformation most likely coming from only one news source. Very sad to watch. Your conspiratorial mindset is starting to make you sound a little crazy too. You can be proud though to call yourself a Trumpublican, your irrational thinking mimics your cult leader, he is certainly is unaccountable in his words and actions and is exploiting you to spread his ego-driven lies.

Jim Tomashoff

Sally, with all due respect, don't feel sorry for Kent. That's a bit like feeling sorry for Hitler or Stalin. We don't need to feel sorry for authoritarians/totalitarians like Kent. We need to monitor them and make absolutely certain they NEVER AGAIN get a President with their deeply seeded inclinations and pathological psyche in the White House or gain a majority in one or both Houses of Congress.

Dan Roman

Kent suffers from Dunning-Kruger effect and as a result considers himself the paragon of perfection in an imperfect world. Kent does not understand reality and lacks the socialization that keeps normal people from making statements that are simply demonstrably untrue while apparently believing that if he states the same misinformation endlessly someone besides himself might believe it. Kind of like the definition of insanity: repeating the same act over and over hoping for a better and different result.

Jim Tomashoff

Dan, keep in mind Josef Goebbles maxim, "“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." Trump and Kent are working from this same playbook.

Kathy Wright

Another brainwashed comment. It's too bad your Mother didn't have one.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Comments that violate any of the rules above are subject to removal by staff.

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. Subscribe today and support local community journalism.

Digital Only Subscriptions

Get 24-7 digital-only access and support award-winning community journalism. This gives you access to thepilot.com and its electronic replica edition.

Starting at
$5.35 for 30 days

Already a Print Subscriber? Get Digital Access Free.

As a print subscriber , you also receive unlimited digital access. You can do that here. For any problems, call our customer service number at 910-693-2487 or 693-2488.

Free access for current print subscribers

Home Delivery

Get all the news of Moore County delivered to your home each Wednesday and Sunday with home delivery. Your home delivery subscription also includes unlimited digital access to thepilot.com.

Starting at
$27.82 for 90 days