On Saturday evening, with only an eight-hour notice, Winthrop residents joined together on the library lawn, for a candlelight vigil honoring the life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
At age 87, the legal, cultural and feminist icon died in her Washington D.C. home on Friday, after battling metastatic cancer of the pancreas.
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a visionary and legal leader whose influence on our country transcended the judiciary,” said Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo. “As a litigator, she pioneered legal principles on human rights and gender equality that are part of the fabric of American society today. As a jurist, she worked to reinforce and protect those rights. Her passing represents a colossal loss for the United States Supreme Court and our country.”
Sen. Joseph Boncore had the following remarks: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a champion for justice and equity. The loss of such a strong, compassionate leader is deeply felt on the Supreme Court and across our country. The greatest way to honor Justice Ginsburg’s legacy is to continue her work: we must fight for justice in all areas of our country where it is at stake.”
During the vigil, several women of all ages spoke, including event organizer, Suzanne Leonard.
“The news of RBG’s death hit me very personally, and I spent Friday night and Saturday morning feeling pretty hopeless. The tireless work she did on behalf of marginalized communities, and her trailblazing presence on the Supreme Court was humbling and awe inspiring and I was acutely feeling this loss. After sending out an invitation in the afternoon I was so heartened to see so many people come together to honor her life. People spoke freely and from the heart, and it was an emotional and moving gathering.”
For some, RBG has been a lifelong influence, and for others, she was just starting to play a role. To eight-year-old Haley Jones, RBG changed the world, shaping her ideals at a very young age.
“The night RBG died I was playing, then I heard a horrific scream. It was mom. When I walked into the room, I heard the news. I think me crying for RBG shows how much she meant to me. She’s my hero because she changed the world. Please honor her memory.”
RBG’s influence didn’t go unnoticed by women and men of all ages, and her legacy is one that will be referred to and lived by for eternity.
“RBG is an inspiration to women around the world,” said Manal Khan. “She’s only the second woman on a supreme court and her rulings and cases have advanced women’s rights and equality. You can tell she thought deeply and carefully on these issues.”