You may have heard or seen news of Joe Biden's inaugural committee leading a national moment of unity this evening. The moment of unity is meant to remember the nearly 400,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 and will feature the lighting of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, and the illumination of buildings and ringing of church bells in a national moment of unity and remembrance. I've been in touch with our news department here at the radio station, and community leaders, and have not heard of anything happening here in Missoula, as far as a moment of silence, special lighting, or church bells. However, I'm now being told that a Billings teepee will be part of the ceremony.

This afternoon's ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Washington D.C., so 3:30 Montana time, and here in Montana, a teepee will be illuminated on Sacrifice Cliff in Swords Park in Billings. The lighting will emphasize the importance of looking back and remembering the lives we’ve lost to COVID-19 as we look forward to the hope of a new path and a brighter future. Tom Rodgers, a Blackfeet and president of the Global Indigenous Council shared the following:

“Today we return home, seeking refuge in our teepees, our beacons of hope. We share our grief, hope, strength and resolve with all those who have traveled on and those still among us. We will remember those taken by a merciless pestilence, and when we will tell their stories we will speak of how they lived when they walked among us. Like the Civil War nurse Walt Whitman, who observed while standing in the blood of the fallen that death can provide the ultimate reconciliation, we need not fear sisters Death and Night as they softly but incessantly wash again and ever again our soiled nation.”

I haven't been able to find a link to watch the lighting live, if you know of anyone who will be in Billings and streaming, please let us know so we can share with others. The national ceremony will live streamed here.

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