With a call to speak openly about pain, suffering and anger, the federal president of Germany, Frank Walter Steinmeier, starred in the state act held this Sunday in Berlin in memory of the almost 80,000 fatalities of the coronavirus in this country. “We want today as a society to remember those who in these dark times have died in solitude and often in painful ways,” Steinmeier said at a ceremony attended by leading German authorities and senior representatives of monotheistic religions.
“The pandemic has torn deep wounds and opened terrible voids,” said the highest German president at the event at the Konzerthaus in the German capital. “There are no words to describe his pain,” he added when addressing family members and friends of those who died in the epidemic, to whom he assured that “you are not alone in your pain, you are not alone with your mourning.” The German president commented having spoken with numerous relatives of victims of the disease and said that some suffer because they did not have the opportunity to personally accompany their loved ones in their last moments of life and others because they could not bury them as they would have liked.
“From the beginning of the catastrophe, we have monitored the infection rates and the death toll on a daily basis, we followed the development of the curves, we compared and evaluated,” said Steinmeier, who described this attitude as understandable, although he went on to emphasize that “I have the impression that as a society we are not sufficiently aware that behind these numbers are people.
His suffering and death have often been invisible to public opinion, added the German head of state, who warned that “a society that does not recognize that suffering will end up totally damaged.” He also called for taking seriously the social consequences of the pandemic. “If we reflect for a moment today, we will be aware that the virus has shaken and hurt our society much more than we are willing to assume in our daily lives. We are aware of how severely it affects us, ”said Frank Walter Steinmeier, who referred to widespread concern and uncertainty and individual and collective suffering under the restrictions.
“But we also know that the virus does not threaten everyone equally and that the restrictions do not affect everyone with the same severity. Today we also remember all those who are particularly harshly punished by this crisis, “said the German president in his speech after an ecumenical service with representatives of the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox churches, but also a senior Muslim imam and a rabbi. Jewish. An event that was also attended by the highest representatives of the country’s public powers, from the Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to the presidents of the two parliamentary chambers, Wolfgang Schäuble for the Bundestag and Reiner Haseloff for the Bundesrat, or the President of the Court German Constitutional, Stephan Harbarth.
The deceased are missing “in their families and among their friends, among their neighbors, in the circle of their co-workers, in our society,” said Steinmeier, and stressed that, although they will not return, “they will remain in our memory. We will not forget them. In addition to mourning and pain, for many people the pandemic has brought “anger and bitterness,” added the German president, who acknowledged that “politics has had to make difficult and sometimes tragic decisions to avoid major catastrophes” and has had to learn of errors and omissions.
“My request today is that we talk about pain, suffering and anger. But let’s not lose ourselves in guilt or look back, but rather join forces again on our way forward, on the path that we want and must take to get out of the pandemic all together, “said the highest German president. «The pandemic will leave us marked, but we will also grow with it. In the end we will leave it behind, we will breathe again and live freely. We will be closer as human beings and united as a society, “said Frank Walter Steinmeier in an optimistic message at the end of his speech.
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