Los Alamos County Council has declared Wednesday, Mar. 24 ‘Lights On, Los Alamos….And Howl’. Photo Courtesy LAC
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Councilors during their Tuesday evening meeting issued a proclamation observing the one-year milestone since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and declaring Wednesday, March 24, 2021 as “Lights On, Los Alamos…and Howl!” in appreciation for all those who have helped the community. The proclamation was accepted by Los Alamos Chief of Police Dino Sgambellone on behalf of County Emergency Manager Beverley Simpson.
In accepting the proclamation, Sgambellone said while he doesn’t represent each of the groups honored by the proclamation, he was sure that he shared and echoed their thanks for the acknowledgement of the great work that has been done.
“I think one good thing that has come of this, that this pandemic has shown is what we’ve been able to do as a community, as a state and even nationally. We’ve come together and while there’s been tragic loss, we’ve been able to unite and make a difference in other people’s lives by helping our friends and our neighbors through this difficult time,” Sgambellone said.
Dr Frances Lovett of Nambe Drugs thanked council for the proclamation.
“We’re very honored. Certainly not one person, not one agency could have done this by him or herself. I loved every word of that proclamation so we thank you very much. Especially being a local at heart, I thought it was quite beautiful and touching,” she said.
Council Chair Randall Ryti expressed appreciation for everything everyone has done in the past year.
“It’s been difficult in lots of ways but we’re looking forward to better times coming and hopefully people will take advantage of the Howl tomorrow at 8 o’clock,” he said.
The proclamation reads as follows:
WHEREAS: It has been one year since the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and the Los Alamos County Council wishes to mark this historic milestone for our community with a moment of sadness for lives lost or forever changed, as well as an act of gratitude for all of those in our community who have helped us brave this pandemic and its far-reaching effects since March, 2020; and
WHEREAS: In sadness, we pause for a moment of reflection upon the lives lost nation-wide to this terrible pandemic, especially remembering those six individuals in Los Alamos who succumbed to the coronavirus this past year; and
WHEREAS: We remember and pledge our continued support to those who have contracted COVID-19; In Los Alamos, 486 individuals have been diagnosed in just one year – disrupting their lives, jeopardizing their health, and impacting their economic, social and mental well-being – in addition to the stress this terrible virus has placed upon their families, friends and loved ones, as they grapple with the after-effects and long-range impacts that are still unknown; and
WHEREAS: Vaccines provide a way to end the pandemic; We thank all those responsible for developing and testing the three approved vaccines in the U.S., the State Department of Health, and in particular Nambe Drugs and all of those supporting our local vaccine clinics, including the National Guard, health care workers and volunteers, who have administered more than 7,600 cumulative doses in Los Alamos County to date; and
WHEREAS: Beyond these sad moments, we look forward to emerging out of this pandemic, stronger and more resilient than before; We pay our respects and offer our gratitude to everyone in our community who has helped us “battle back” in the past year – with special thanks to the tireless efforts and care provided by local hospital and health-care workers, front-line County public safety and essential services employees keeping operations running smoothly day-by-day, school teachers and staff adapting rapidly to virtual online classrooms and hybrid teaching models, and countless businesses in Los Alamos & White Rock who “kept the doors open and lights on” for business to proceed during a time that was anything but normal – just to name a few who have contributed – and we offer a heartfelt thanks to those “behind the scenes” silent heroes who have made a difference and helped a friend or neighbor during this difficult time;
NOW, THEREFORE, on behalf of the Council of the Incorporated County of Los Alamos, I do hereby declare a moment of silence for the lives lost or impacted by COVID-19 in our community this past year, and FURTHERMORE, I do hereby declare Wednesday, March 24, 2021 as
“LIGHTS ON, LOS ALAMOS…AND HOWL!”
I urge our citizens to turn on porch lights, set out lights near homes, wave a flashlight or show other signs of lighting up the night sky – along with a community-wide howl from front doors, porch steps and windows flung wide open at 8:00 p.m. on March 24, to join us in saying “THANK YOU” to all of those known and unsung heroes of this pandemic.