CUMBERLAND COUNTY COVID-19 MEMORIAL
Fri. & Sat., Nov. 27-28, 7am–7pm, Longfellow Square
The West End News is teaming up with neighbors to create a temporary memorial for Cumberland County residents who have died from Covid-19. During the days following Thanksgiving, we ask the public to leave small remembrances – flowers, stones, shells – around flags with handwritten notes recording the date and number of residents who died from Covid-19.
The impetus for the memorial began with WEN volunteer contributor Rosanne Graef. She was distressed by the lack of significant memorial event or storytelling project locally to remember those we have lost. “People who have been victims of the pandemic [in Maine] seemed to die in anonymity,” Graef said, “Reported only as data points of age, gender, and county.
“I thought of writing about this situation in my regular West End News column,” said Graef, “and when I talked with [Publisher] Tony Zeli about that possibility, he suggested that perhaps we could create a public memorial ourselves. The idea was compelling. So, we gathered some like-minded and willing friends and hope people will participate and find it meaningful.”
Covid- 19 Memorial – Beginning Fri., Nov. 27
On Friday morning, November 27th, at 7 a.m., without ceremony or service, organizers will place flags at Longfellow Square. Each flag will have the handwritten date of death for each person who has died from Covid-19 in Cumberland County. As of November 13th, there have been 8,639 cases and 162 deaths from Covid-19 in Maine. There have been 3,138 cases and 70 deaths in Cumberland County alone.
“These public health crises affect all of us in some way, whether we personally know someone who suffers or feel largely untouched,” said Graef. “Not publicly acknowledging the loss and suffering they cause eats away at a society’s soul. We need to face these ills straight on and come together to address them.”
We will place the temporary memorial flags around the edge of the granite curbing surrounding the statue of Longfellow. Throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, November 27th and 28th, we invite the public to place symbolic remembrances by the signs. These may include flowers, shells, stones, and poems. Please, no candles. Also, we encourage that people leave items made of natural materials.
There will be no formal gathering or service. Instead, we invite participants to visit, remember, and consider these individuals, their families and friends, and this extraordinary time.
Down for the Evening, Final Day is Sat., Nov. 28
On Friday evening, we will respectfully retrieve all remembrances from the park. Then on Saturday morning, November 28th, at 7a.m. the temporary memorial will be returned for another day of mourning until removed one final time, respectfully but without ceremony, at 7 p.m.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.