In America: Remember

Volunteers plant white flags on the National Mall this month for the “In America: Remember” public art installation commemorating Americans who have died due to COVID-19.

Getting people’s attention

I think that I am not alone when I try to truly grasp the meaning of something that is defined by numbers. We are constantly aware of the reporting of statistical figures but often shrug them off because we just can’t visualize their worth. Examples are endless from geologic epochs to monetary units. What does it take to really get our attention?

I recently had an experience that got my attention. While wandering around the Washington Monument which in itself is impressive, I came across an unexpected sight since I was totally unaware of it. As I walked on the slope of the rise, there they were flapping in the breeze, an entire field of small white flags. Oh, I thought, must be some kind of 9/11 memorial since we had just passed that anniversary. But wait, that looks like a lot more than the 3,000 lives lost that day.

And it was, a whole lot more actually, 660,000+ flags, a number that most of us are all too tragically familiar with these days, the amount of American COVID deaths. It was a powerful, emotional vision, one that I will not forget, all of the flags with a person’s name on it. It was just what I needed to realize the significance of that number, 20 acres of space or about 18 football fields since most people can identify with that comparison. It was only half that size a year ago, and continues to grow at 13,000 people each week.

The display, “In America: Remember,” is only temporary since it will be removed in October. Personally, I think that it should be continuous to get people’s attention, especially those who remain unvaccinated, and should actually include space for the 230 million worldwide deaths at 56,000 per week, which amounts to about 63 of those football fields if you can imagine that.

It would totally engulf the Washington Monument and spread toward the White House, something that those three Marines helicopters that flew over my head could actually steer by on their approach. Indeed, size matters.

Christopher A. Jones

Colorado Springs

Decisions based on politics, theories

Re: COVID cases in El Paso County schools up 50%. You profess to be following CDC recommendations, using El Paso County’s evasive language as a shield. You are not following the science or the recommendations of knowledgeable organizations. By kowtowing to a vocal, ignorant minority you are trampling on the rights of my grandchildren to obtain an education.

I have had enough of this. It’s time for you to step up and do the right thing for our community and our children. Failure to vaccinate, failure to wear masks, impacts all of us, not just those who walk that path. Our kids were fine — they even thrived — wearing masks last year, and they will be fine wearing masks this year. They need to be in school, and they need a universal mask mandate.

For most, wearing masks will keep them from becoming sick (and how miserable is it to watch a child suffer through an illness — don’t you remember?). For a handful, mask-wearing might save their lives. For all, it will allow them to maintain their school schedules and normalcy. Yes, I said “normalcy.” Not wearing masks and not distancing in this time of COVID is not normalcy; it is idiocy.

Not wearing masks and not distancing in this time of COVID is not freedom; it is selfish, ignorant and short-sighted. And I cannot even begin to fathom why teachers who professed fear of returning to the classroom in 2020 without a vaccine are reluctant to be vaccinated in 2021. Surely this hesitancy is the result of too much social media and too little independent research and thought. The implication for what these teachers are and aren’t teaching in the classroom is mind-boggling and the topic for another day.

Those of you who are making decisions based on politics and ill-conceived theories need to listen to the grown-ups and start making decisions based on facts and what is best for our children.

Karen Kash Redden

Colorado Springs

Send immigrants to Republican states

The question is: What to do with the massive number of immigrants coming here from Afghanistan and Latin American, each coming in by the thousands?

Considering the great number of deaths — and still growing — from nonvaccinated citizens (i.e. Alabama now) and the reduced birthrates from political/religious “laws and beliefs,” all or most of these immigrants should be sent to those states as workers. The employment needs of these predominately Republican states is and will increasingly become extensive. Settle them there! The social and political and cultural/religious jolt could have a longterm influence for modernization of viewpoints or mutual acculturation — for good or ill.

Dean E Tollefson

Colorado Springs

Nothing more than a bobblehead

Watching with bewilderment as television host Joy Reid hypes “Missing White Woman Syndrome” as part of the wedge driving what our media has chosen to push. Perhaps Reid should reflect on the amount of time she spent airing the phony racist driven attack on Jussie Smollett.

Hours and hours of airtime smearing the then president and his supporters, as she helped spread a lie. Think how many missing women of color she could have been reporting on instead.

Same for the insane glorifying of thuggery in the George Floyd nonstop hammering in the press. So many missing women of color whose stories weren’t told because of the axle-wrapping press around his death. Ditto Russian collusion and Trump taxes.

Ms. Reid: do better. If missing women of color are truly important to you, beyond the opportunity to scream about “systemic racism”, do your job and publicize their plight. Otherwise you are nothing more than a reliable bobblehead for the dividers.

Toby Norton

Colorado Springs

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