A PAUSE FOR
With Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement
that he was lifting most of
the state’s COVID-19 precautions due to
the state reaching a 70 percent first-dose
vaccination threshold, fireworks were launched
all across the city in celebration.
The pyrotechnics were set off to celebrate the
essential workers who tirelessly worked during
the pandemic. The Empire State Building also lit
up in blue and gold, along with a plethora of other
locations across the city and state to mark the occasion.
The celebration was a much-needed release
for many in the city. The past 15 months of this
pandemic have been the most difficult, and the
fireworks were symbolic of a milestone that indicated
the worst is finally behind us.
No one will ever forget the horrific suffering
our city endured — tens of thousands of people
dead, tens of thousands more sickened, all the
businesses crushed by restrictions, the isolation
most everyone felt from being told to stay home
and socially distance.
This pandemic generated so much despair and
anxiety for so many people, and one could make a
valid argument against celebrating the achievement
of just having 70 percent of people getting
at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. There’s
still much work to be done to get everyone (or
close to everyone) vaccinated.
But we should celebrate this achievement, and
so many of the other things that have come with
it — from the mass reopening of businesses, to
being able to go to a restaurant, movie theater or
a ballpark and enjoy something without fear of
becoming gravely ill.
We must always remain vigilant against a resurgence
of COVID-19. But in the meantime, we
can finally begin turning the page on this grim
chapter in our history and start to enjoy life
And if we’ve learned nothing else, it is how
fragile life can be — and how important it is to
take advantage of what life has to offer when we
are able to savor and appreciate it. Vaccination
has given us the ability to do just that.
If you’ve gotten the shot, go out and enjoy life.
If you haven’t gotten it yet, don’t wait another
second and get it.
HOW TO REACH US
TIMESLEDGER | Q 12 NS.COM | JUNE 25-JULY 1, 2021
JUNETEENTH IS NOW A FEDERAL HOLIDAY
President Biden officially signed into law a bill
making Juneteenth National Independence
Day a federal holiday.
Now let me say bravo, and it is about time!
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery,
which was a truly sad period in our history.
In our Declaration of Independence it says, “We
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their creator
with certain unalienable rights, that among these
are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
So, what happened? Did not the words of the Declaration
mean all men and women?
In my opinion, the establishment of this federal
holiday is a good thing!
My grandfather fought in the Union Army under
General Sherman during the Civil War and, according
to my father, he strongly believed that we are all
created equal and deserved the rights of all men.
As such, I thank President Biden and Congress
for the establishment of this federal holiday. As a
white man, let me say to all my brothers and sisters
of color, may you truly be blessed and be safe and
free from harm.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,
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Fireworks were launched all across the city in celebration of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that he
was lifting most of the state’s COVID-19 precautions. Photo via @NYGovCuomo/Twitter