In my last blog I wrote about the open-air memorial on Copley Square to the victims of the Boston bombing. When I was there, it felt that it had sprung up from the heart of every visitor and that that love continued to tend it day after day.
I now have some more information about this phenomenon. I quote from the First Parish of Sudbury Unitarian Universalist 327 Concord Rd., Sudbury, MA 01776 newsletter. The words are those of Interim Minister Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris.
(For the full text of John Millspaugh’s reflection go to http://www.uuworld.org/life/articles/285333.shtml)
“The Rev. John Millspaugh was on Boylston Street recently. He writes, In front of a shuttered storefront, three small white wooden crosses stood with elegant simplicity, each bearing the name and picture of one of the three victims who died on April 15. . .adorned with ribbons and paper hearts, mementos and religious figurines . . . Because the police’s physical investigation was drawing to a close and Boylston Street would soon reopen, DPW workers were relocating the objects from the impromptu shrine to a larger one in Copley Square. At first, we passersby simply watched the DPW men as they loaded . . . items into their white van. Gradually . . . we flowed past barricades to help them with their holy labor. . . Both spectators and DPW workers seemed hesitant to remove the three wooden crosses standing alone on the granite sidewalk.
“The DPW official in charge, noticing the clergy garb John was wearing from a Standing on the Side of Love rally supporting immigration reform earlier that day, asked him to say a few words before the crosses were loaded and the shrine dissolved completely. John’s prayer ended with, “May we all be the rebuilders.” John continues.
“One of the DPW workers spoke softly to the official, who then turned to me and asked if I would carry Martin Richard’s cross to the van . . . I can’t describe the feelings that surged in me as I lifted the memorial to this 8-year-old boy. Sorrow, humility, and reverence for the sacred privilege come close. The destruction of that day cannot be undone. But it can be answered. Already we are busying ourselves with healing. . . There is much to do on a symbolic level. I’m beginning to ask myself how to move beyond the symbolic. I’ll be searching for ways to answer the destructive acts of these two individuals with actions grounded in my own highest values. I’ll be looking for ways that we, together, might re-consecrate sacred ground.
In the midst of our joy and our sorrow may we be (re)builders of the future.
(For the full text of John’s reflection go to http://www.uuworld.org/life/articles/285333.shtml)”