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Ginsburg vigil draws unexpected crowd

Roughly 100 people attended a vigil honoring the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Franconia's Dow Field last Sunday, including Select Board Chair Jill Brewer (left). (Photo by Angel Larcom) (click for larger version)
September 24, 2020
FRANCONIA — An impromptu vigil honoring the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Franconia's Dow Field drew a surprising number of people last Sunday. Though brief, several generations attended the ceremony - a testament to the Supreme Court Justice's legacy.

The evening event attracted at least one hundred people and was organized by Jade Monahan Walker, Nicole Monahan and Franconia Select Board Chair Jill Brewer. Monahan opened the event with a brief greeting, followed by a poem recital by her aunt and ending with two minutes of collective silence. "We thought it would only be our family and that's it, so it's pretty cool that you are all here to remember a wonderful woman who did so many wonderful things for our country," noted the New York native.

The poem, titled "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg," was written by Leslé Honoré, a self-described Blaxican artivist, poet and author upon Ginsberg's passing on Sept 18. It opened with, "Rest now you giant, you warrior, you brilliant brave soul. You who gave us courage and hope."

Brewer said she was astounded at the brief ceremony's turnout.

She said, "On Friday night, I was getting text after text of devastation, sadness and anger from local friends. I thought this vigil needed to happen to not only honor her memory but also inspire all of us because of the election."

When asked how RBG had impacted her directly,

Brewer said, "She's not only been a trailblazer but a role model for everyone, from my kids to me."

She referenced one of the Supreme Court Justice's more famous quotes and said it resonated deeply. The quote stated, "Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation."

Monahan, a New York native, has weathered the pandemic's brunt by staying with local family members.

She said, "It's nice to be surrounded by like-minded people when something like this occurs. I was so surprised at the turnout. You never think people are actually going to show up. It's so wonderful and heartwarming to see."

The event organizer continued, "Ginsburg's overall body of work has been an inspiration. But really, it was her fighting for equality for all of us - not just women, but men too. She was such a giant and fought her entire life. We are going to have to keep fighting and fight harder."

Franconia Police Chief Mac Cashin also attended after being alerted earlier in the day by Brewer that a potential crowd might gather. It was a peaceful yet brief vigil.

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