history

on April 3, 2002, two lights were emitted from the Empire State Building in New York to commemorate the World Trade Center building destroyed on September 11. The color of the floodlights on the top of the building will change due to major events. The Empire State building lit white lights in early 2005 to pray for the survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

“Mourning Day” past and present life

— from “Memorial Day”, “prayer and Memorial Day” “Patriotic day” to “national service and Memorial Day”

give workers enough lunch time to “pray for the country”

“in the United States,” national mourning day “is often issued by a document signed by the president, and the relevant mourning rules only apply to federal government agencies.” Pasquale menna, mayor of red bank, New Jersey, said in an interview with southern weekend on August 17, “the national mourning day generally does not prohibit commercial transactions and will not affect the normal operation of all sectors of society.”

Red Bank city is located on the Central Atlantic coast of the United States. It is the fourth small city in the United States. MENA has served as mayor for four years and experienced the transformation of national mourning days before. First, after the “9 / 11” terrorist attacks, George W. Bush designated September 14 as “National Prayer and Memorial Day”; In 2002, September 11 of each year was designated as “patriotic day”; After Obama took office, he changed it to “national service and Memorial Day”. After the

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and “9 / 11” terrorist attacks, many governments around the world quickly announced the establishment of a “national day of mourning” to mourn the civilians who died in the disaster. Only the United States did not call it a “National day of mourning”, but a “national day of prayer and remembrance”.

“national day of mourning” is officially called National Day of mourning in English. It is used to mourn the dead president or other influential figures, and sometimes to mourn the civilians who died in the disaster. In 1995, the federal building in Oklahoma exploded, killing 168 people. The then president signed a document to hold a “national day of mourning”. However, after the “9 / 11” tragedy, only a memorial day similar to the “national day of mourning” was established. Other similar memorial days include the “Memorial Day” that began during the civil war, which became a fixed memorial day after World War II. Under federal law, only the president can declare a “national day of mourning”, which usually occurs only when the president or former president dies. The first commemorative event in the United States similar to the “national day of mourning” was to commemorate the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. On the day of the anniversary, the White House, U.S. agencies abroad and even residents’ homes will fly flags at half mast, and various commemorative activities will be organized spontaneously.

the last officially announced “national day of mourning” was on January 2, 2007 to commemorate the death of Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the United States. At that time, US President George W. Bush called on Americans to gather in their respective places on the same day to miss President Ford. “I invite all those in the world who share our sorrow to participate in this solemn commemoration,” he said

after the death of President Ford, like other presidents, the flag was hoisted at half mast for 30 days, and the mourning day was limited to one day. According to the practice of “national mourning day” in the United States, all federal agencies were on vacation at that time, but the shopping malls were operating as usual, public entertainment such as television, movies and entertainment places were operating as usual, newspapers Radio and television have not changed their arrangement and design.

take “9 · 11” as an example. After the tragedy, George W. Bush signed a document declaring the 14th as “National Prayer and Memorial Day”, suggesting that all religious places ring bells at noon and hold candlelight vigils at night. He also suggested that the boss give workers enough lunch time to “pray for the country”. Most towns and communities in the United States have opened up a special area for people to display souvenirs such as photos, flowers, candles and national flags. In the vicinity of the disaster, especially near the homes of the victims and their relatives and friends, such a temporary Memorial area has been preserved for several years and has become a holy land of the community.

Hongan city is no exception. Mourning activities will be held in this small town on the day of September 11 every year. Similar to mourning ceremonies in other regions, it includes moments of silence, mayor’s speech, donations from patriotic groups such as the Veterans’ Association and so on.

about 80 people were killed on September 11 around Hongan city. All relevant commemorative activities in the city came from enterprises, churches and community organizations. However, local media have become the best channel to express the feelings of the community.

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◎ Japan’s emperor Showa died in 1989. The government announced a six-day national mourning period and suggested that the shopping mall be closed for two days. But many shopping malls insisted on opening, and Tokyo Department Store held flower exhibitions as usual.

◎ in Russia, after two suicide bombers attacked the Moscow subway in 2009 and killed 39 people, the government declared March 30 as the national day of mourning, lowered the national flag at half mast, and rescheduled television advertisements and entertainment programs.

◎ the president of Haiti announced a national day of mourning one month after the earthquake on January 12, 2010. Mourning ceremonies were held throughout Haiti, and neighboring Dominica also announced a two-day national mourning day. The national flag was lowered at half mast and all recreational activities were stopped.

◎ Germany’s latest “national day of mourning” was announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel on March 12, 2009 to mourn the people who died in a school shooting at a middle school near Stuttgart. On July 24 this year, people spontaneously held memorial activities for the casualties caused by the stampede at the German Western Music Festival, and the government did not set up a “national day of mourning” for this purpose.

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has been engaged in media for more than 20 years-An organization in ‘9-09’ looked for nearly 50 volunteers, where we spent nine days with nine families, “said Mike Mitchell, CEO of Chesapeake humanitarian organization, “After the tragedy of ‘9 / 11’, people will be at a loss. Public service is an excellent way to help. Our volunteers have shown confidence in our ideals and our actions are the best response to terrorists.”

however, some critics oppose Obama’s “national service and Memorial Day” plan. The right-wing view of the United States holds that: “Obama stands on the policy position of no goodwill and good calculation. This policy tries to eliminate the psychological impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the people, and tries to turn September 11 into a carnival on the left.”

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the right wing’s complaint also lies in the political value of “9 / 11”. George W. Bush took a tough stance on combating terrorism, and Republicans were considered to increase political capital through the “9 / 11” commemoration. Obama’s shift to community service activities may mean shifting more focus to Democratic leaders. Despite considerable opposition to Obama and his efforts to serve the community, these views have not formed a climate among ordinary people. After all, there are pressing issues such as high unemployment that need to be addressed.

perhaps more important than the high unemployment rate is social fairness and justice, which is why indigenous Indians claim Thanksgiving as their day of mourning. But on this most traditional American holiday, many Americans celebrate the harmonious friendship between European colonists and Indians.

national mourning day: when to mourn and how to mourn

Author: arbitrary, master of public policy

from Harvard University School of government, in order to give consideration to the principles of fairness and sustainability, can we flexibly adjust the level of mourning activities according to the number of victims, Collective mourning activities based on the central government or a province or city?

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national mourning days involve the people of the whole country. They can be either intervened by the State Administration or encouraged by the state and mourned spontaneously by the people.

in order to express the deep condolences of the people of all ethnic groups to the compatriots killed by the catastrophic mountain torrent and debris flow in Zhouqu, Gansu Province, the central government decided to hold a national mourning activity on August 15, 2010. The national flag and the embassies and consulates stationed abroad will be lowered at half mast and all forms of public entertainment activities will be stopped.

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mourned the whole country, expressed the highest respect of the state and Society for the value of citizens’ lives, and also created an extremely beneficial public activity, so that people everywhere can jointly bear and comfort the pain of the victims, and turn the grief into love and cohesion. At the same time, for survivors, mourning can also enhance people’s awareness of preventing natural disasters by helping people indirectly experience natural disasters. To sum up, although social collective mourning itself is full of grief, it can be turned into positive spiritual resources and strength.

this is the third time since the Wenchuan earthquake and Yushu earthquake that the Chinese government has set up a national day of mourning for the victims of natural disasters. It can be predicted that national mourning will become a common form of commemorating the victims of major natural disasters in the future.

as national mourning involves the daily life of the people all over the country and has a far-reaching impact, the government and society can do some useful thinking together on how to carry out collective mourning. After all, when to mourn, who to mourn, and how to mourn can quite reflect a society’s values, political and social institutions. The completion and maturity of civil society and civil values require people’s continuous communication and speculation on public events. Below, I will only raise some questions to arouse the public’s thinking on the issue of mourning.

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national mourning day can be regarded as a public policy in a sense. We can first try to explore the most basic starting point that it should follow. I think there are probably several:

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. First, the principle of fairness. Victims of different disasters, as human beings, should be given equal attention, respect and equal treatment. The determination of national mourning days should also reflect equal respect for the dead as far as possible. For example, for catastrophic natural disasters such as Wenchuan, Yushu and Zhouqu, national mourning should be carried out, while other disasters with similar severity and reaching this level in the future should also be treated equally and a national mourning day should be established.

the second is the principle of sustainability. The day of mourning for 1.3 billion people is a very serious matter. When to set, we must carefully consider and use it appropriately, so as to make the tool continue to be effective and play its maximum role. The “threshold” for starting national mourning days should be appropriate. If it is too low, it may lead to too frequent and reduce the implementation effect of each mourning day to a certain extent. If it is too high, many disaster victims may not receive due attention.

based on these starting points, we can think more deeply about the mourning day:

when to start the national mourning

in all countries in the world, in addition to the death of the highest national leader, the occurrence of disasters is usually the reason to start the national mourning. It is subjective and difficult to judge whether a disaster needs national mourning. For example, should a judgment principle be established for when to mourn?

a simpler way is to consider the absolute number of victims. However, taking the number of victims as the judgment standard will not fully respect the value of individual victims and hinder the principle of fairness – because only when the number of victims reaches a certain set number can people pay enough “attention”, but this is indeed the objective requirement of the principle of sustainability.

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the setting of absolute quantity in different countries may also be combined with the national scale, territorial scope, natural conditions of the region, the frequency of natural disasters and disasters every yearThe proportion of the number of people in the number of nationals varies. Whether

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can flexibly adjust the mourning level according to the severity of the disaster

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starting from the principle of sustainability, assuming that the national mourning day is set with the absolute number of victims as the approximate standard, it will inevitably involve the issue of fairness: a disaster with 800 victims and 1000 victims is essentially the same. For humanitarian reasons, the victims of different disasters should be given equal humanistic attention and respect. However, it should be recognized that in a country with a large population and frequent natural or man-made disasters, it is unlikely to often set a national mourning day. It must be judged according to some subjective factors whether something is “worth” or “necessary” to start national mourning.

one of the characteristics of human beings is that they tend to pour greater sympathy into people who have more commonalities in their adjacent places. Dare to imagine that in order to take into account the principles of fairness and sustainability, can we flexibly adjust the level of mourning activities according to the different number of victims?

for example, can collective mourning activities based on local (such as a province, a city, etc.) be adopted for events with smaller destruction scale? In doing so, we can not only pay attention to more victims and meet the emotional needs of local people, but also avoid the country setting up mourning days too frequently.

where to mourn the people

is probably a little far from reality, but it is worth thinking: human beings are a big family, probably from Africa, migrated to all parts of the world many thousands of years ago, formed their own civilizations and developed into seemingly unrelated and independent societies and cultures. The history of sovereign nation-state is even shorter, appearing in Europe with a history of only hundreds of years.

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in the long river of human history, these are social institutions and values with only a short time span, but they have greatly affected human investment in emotion and morality, forming an artificial boundary. People are more concerned about the neighboring communities around them than the communities of others. Therefore, when natural disasters cause heavy casualties, it is often the country where they are mourning. The problem of

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has come out. Should we mourn the major natural disasters in other countries? For example, Indonesia tsunami; For example, the debris flow in Venezuela that killed 30000 people in 1998. Considering cosmopolitanism and internationalism, there should be no absolute boundary.

not long ago, there was a noteworthy example. On April 10, the Polish Air Force Tu 154 plane crashed in Russia, killing Polish President Lech Kaczynski and many senior officials of the government and legislature. The incident caused heavy losses to Poland, and the country immediately mourned. Russia also showed a very high attitude and designated April 12 as a national day of mourning to commemorate the dead poles. It is true that the poles went for the commemoration of the Katyn tragedy, and the accident occurred in Russian territory. But in any case, Russia’s national mourning is a respectable gesture.

mourning day implementation measures

national mourning day involves the people of the whole country. How to implement it? Different countries have different history, culture, habits and social systems, so they may also adopt different methods.

some countries mainly use administrative means. For example, Yom hashoah, Israel’s memorial day to commemorate the Holocaust (around April and may every year), is mainly implemented by legal and administrative means. On the night of mourning, public entertainment venues will be closed according to law, and television stations usually broadcast themes related to the Holocaust; Only sad and deep songs will be played on the radio. This kind of legal and administrative means, which is very strong and most serious, is closely related to the extremely painful experience of the Jewish nation. Another example of

is initiated by the government, mainly with the spontaneous participation of the public. For example, the United States mourns the 9 / 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the Columbia manned spacecraft accident and the death of the former president. The main approach is that the president, in the name of the head of state, calls on and encourages people to participate in mourning activities, but there is no more direct government intervention. Mourning day is closer to a special day set by the state relying on its own power to create an opportunity for society to mourn together; Meanwhile, local religious organizations, civil society organizations and institutions will spontaneously carry out mourning activities. This model is also closely related to the strong individualism and civil society in the United States.

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the state intervenes by administrative means, or the civil spontaneity encouraged by the state has its own advantages: the former has stronger implementation, which is especially suitable for the stage of cultivating public awareness in society, but it will more directly affect the life of citizens; The latter mainly relies on the self-discipline of society and citizens, and the implementation is relatively weak, which has little impact on citizens’ life. Each society can comprehensively consider its own historical background, culture and current situation of social development to determine an optimal mourning day implementation method.

at present, China’s national mourning day is mainly administrative. For example, the government uses administrative means to require all sectors of society to stop recreational activities during mourning. Whether it should be carried out by the state through administrative means or by citizens’ initiative – that is, after the state determines the national day of mourning, the specific scale, method and form of implementation should be controlled by social groups and citizens themselves and carried out by self-discipline – we can think openly.

if a society is mature, civilized and cohesive enough, even if someone engages in recreational activities during the mourning day, it will be regarded as inappropriate by other social members, which will bring public image and moral crisis and force people to self-discipline. When the public awareness is relatively weak, the state’s appropriate guidance and intervention also has its benefits.

in short, mourning expresses the memory of the living to the dead and the value of a society to people and its attitude towards its members, which can well reflect the social values, political and social institutions. By thinking about mourning, we can also deepen our understanding of people, society, the meaning of life and ourselves.