On January 4th, the Amherst Town Council voted in support of a proclamation in support of a National Day of Recollection to honor those who have lost their lives to COVID-19.
PROCLAMATION IN SUPPORT OF A NATIONAL DAY OF RECOLLECTION TO HONOR THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES TO COVID-19
WHEREAS, as of this date more than 20,000,000 Americans have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, the largest number of infections by far in any nation in the world and one quarter of all infections worldwide; and,
WHEREAS, as of this date over 350,000 Americans have died as a result of contracting COVID-19 and that number will surely rise over the coming months; and,
WHEREAS, with the advent of a number of vaccines that will prevent the spread of the virus and assuming the rapid and universal availability of these vaccines to all Americans, we have hope that the darkest days of the pandemic are behind us, nonetheless our thoughts as we begin this new year remain fixed on those whom we have lost; and,
WHEREAS, when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, it is important that we honor those who have died, take time to reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in our nation’s history, and renew our commitment to ending the pandemic and restoring a national sense of unity and shared purpose.
NOW, THEREFORE, we the Amherst Town Council express our support for a day of national recollection on January 19, 2021 in honor of all those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and we direct the Town Manager to sound the Town bell at 5:30PM and to the degree practicable at that hour to illuminate key Town buildings, and we further ask the leaders of our faith communities to likewise join in this moment of collective remembrance and unity in whatever way they deem appropriate, and we further ask that all residents of Amherst join us at that hour in taking a moment to honor and to remember those whom we have lost.
The Town has asked the institutions of higher education and area churches to light up their buildings and ring bells at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, January 19th.
- Town Hall Bells will be rung
- The University of Massachusetts will be ringing their Chapel bell and will be illuminating the Library.
- Amherst College will be illuminating two of its buildings. Johnson Chapel due to its iconic significance to their campus and the Octagon because it is visible from South Pleasant Street. Although the national moment is at 5:30pm, the College will keep the buildings illuminated until 7pm so it is visible to the greater Amherst community for a longer duration of time. In addition, the ringing of the bells at Johnson Chapel will be recorded on video and posted to social media platforms with a written message.
- What you can do: shine a light or hold a moment of silence this evening from home at 5:30 PM