On Sunday, Sept. 20, the Smith Mountain Lake Democrats gathered outside their newly expanded headquarters to honor Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away Friday at the age of 87.
The group honored her by reading a poem titled “When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou and then followed by reading the Mourner’s Kaddish, otherwise known as “Mourner’s Prayer,” which is cited to honor and praise God during the memory of the dead but makes no mention of death during the prayer.
Ginsburg was the first Jewish female and became the longest-serving Jewish justice.
After they finished reciting the prayer, SML President Denise Tuttle offered members the opportunity to give some thoughts or feelings about Justice Ginsburg’s legacy or passing. Her late husband, Marty Ginsburg, was mentioned in one of the comments.
“This may sound like heretic speaking, but don’t forget the saying, ‘Behind every good man is a good woman’; in this case behind a good woman was a supportive husband,” said Glenn Prather talking about how Ginsburg’s husband was very supportive of her. “He recognized her as the power in the family.”
Another member said even though Ginsburg has passed away, her legacy and impact she had will always be remembered and celebrated, especially with women and young girls.
“I think it’s important to note that Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn’t end here; rather, it goes on and what she stood for,” said Marc Nevin. “I’m confident in that, because at my daughter’s school, they had super hero’s day. There were plenty of Superman and Spiderman, but she dressed up as Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
Ginsburg became the second female to serve on the Supreme Court after being chosen by President Bill Clinton in 1993 to replace Justice Byron White. Even before she was appointed, Ginsburg was a strong advocate for gender equality and social justice. She wasn’t afraid to stand out and stand up for what she believed was right in the name of equality. A few of her most noticeable decisions are the Virginia Military Institute including women, gay marriage rights, and equal pay for men and women.
To close out the short meeting, the Democrats then held a moment of silence to honor Ginsburg. Before they bowed their heads, Tuttle said one final sentence.
“Let’s have a moment of silence in remembrance for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a great American woman,” she said.
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