This Memorial Day Honoring the many Veterans Lost in America's Nursing Homes
Premiere of Video sparks Unity, Activism and Public Awareness
By: Gray Panthers NYC
Honoring Nursing Homes Lives "the video" poignantly and lovingly honors those lives and asks "what's next?". Eloquent moments honoring America's veterans and their families provide fitting memorial reflecting the meaning of Memorial Day. Notables in the video include: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; testimonials from nursing home residents, staff, and families; interfaith clergy, including Reverend Lynn Casteel Harper from Riverside Church; National Medal of Arts recipient, Ralph Lemon; Age Wave CEO Ken Dychtwald; Gray Panthers NYC President Jack Kupferman; to name a few.
"This Memorial Day we remember all those brave souls who have sacrificed for this country. Yet, we haven't properly acknowledged those veterans and 182,000 others who died in America's nursing homes due to Covid. Facilities for Veterans have been particularly hard hit. We cannot forget them", noted Jack Kupferman, President of Gray Panthers NYC.
Testimonials from family members such as Roxsanne Tomita, Hawaii resident, shared intimate moments of her father, a decorated Veteran, reenacting the last moments of life. "I'm grateful for this opportunity to share my Dad's personal story and to honor his life. As well as to pay tribute to the memory of each and every life lost to COVID in this last year. It's impacted us all. Hopefully more opportunities like this will be available to help bring healing and to bridge our communities together as we continue to face what the future brings".
As Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave and a long-time Gray Panther, reflects, "With the aging of America, we have more elders in nursing homes than any other time in history. How sad that COVID-19 has taken nearly 200,00 souls in these settings. And how sad for the nearly 1 M family members who weren't able to tell their elder loved one – just how much they were loved and will be deeply missed. This is a time to pause – and share respect – and to collectively grieve - for the terrible loss we have just witnessed."
Lynn Casteel-Harper, Minister at the iconic Riverside Church and Author of "On Vanishing: Mortality, Dementia, and What it Means to Disappear" remarked, "As we remember and lament, we also have hope, as together we seek a more just, caring, and kinder future, in which the most vulnerable among us are prioritized and protected."
Activism and Advocacy Against Ageism. The Gray Panthers envisions a world where the old and the young have much to contribute to make our society more just and humane, and in which each reinforces the other in goals, strategy, and action.