To Read: Almost 90,000 Dead and No Hint of National Mourning

Almost 90,000 Dead and No Hint of National Mourning. Are These Deaths Not ‘Ours’? By Micki McElya | Washington Post (5/15/20) 

"In fact, there is a conspicuous absence of any collective mourning at all. The reason is as simple as it is terrible: We share no understanding of these staggering losses as ours, as belonging to all Americans, as national."

"Americans have a common set of expectations and rituals for responding to national losses, whether they’re from war, terrorism, school shootings, natural disasters or assassinations. ...The pandemic dead have received almost none of this, and the omission is significant — even if the dying is still just beginning. Shared grief brings people together like little else. In the absence of the common bonds of kinship, place, language, faith or heritage, national identity is forged in ritual and the sense of shared experience among strangers, the vast majority of whom will never know one another. It is made of feeling and remembering together. 

The English poet Laurie Lee put it this way in “Lying in State,” about the public memorializing of Winston Churchill at his death: 'Every resounding event seems to be followed by silence as history catches its breath. So it is this morning in this great bare hall — a silence like a fall of snow, holding the city and the world in a moment of profound reflection, reducing all men to a levelled pause.'"