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Doing good against all odds – remembering the forgotten

Leszek J. Sibilski's picture
The opportunity for doing mischief is found a hundred times a day, and of doing good once in a year. - Voltaire
Every November 1st, Poland observes All Saints Day or as some call it, the Day of the Deceased. In the middle of the Polish Golden Autumn there is a day when all Poles meet each other at the cemetery. Flowers and candles are lit to honor loved ones who are no longer with us. Most Polish cemeteries are very pristine and well cared for. For me this is a day of national truce and solidarity intertwined with the Roman-Catholic tradition. All Saints Day is celebrated in other countries, but the poignancy and mobility in Poland has no match. The day before and the day after, millions of Poles patiently travel for hours in never-ending traffic jams.
I am not always able to attend All Saints Day in my native Poland, but there are always flowers, wreaths, and candles, exceeding the number of my living distant relatives at the grave of my parents. And then there are the invisible friendly hands that clean my family's tomb a few weeks later, before the beginning of winter. The culmination of this holiday is an outdoor mass before dusk, which basically occurs at every cemetery. I must admit that for as long as I can remember; I have always tried to skip the mass service saturated with the presence of thousands of worshipers for the sake of long walks in the marvelous fall festival of lights a few hours later where the cemeteries are almost deserted. Imagine, walking in darkness on the fallen and golden dry leaves amongst the orange glow of thousands of lit candles that blend with a scent of burning wax and the array of thousands of flowers. Surrounded by people who act most courteously towards each other, and then there is the humbling moment of realizing again that death is a destiny for each of us. All of this is accompanied by solemn tranquility and feelings of nostalgia.

This blog is a follow up to two of my previous blogs and a closure report to our readership on the impact of the positive social action taken to commemorate five Polish cyclists who died prematurely in a still unsolved plane crash over Bulgaria in 1978. One may wonder: was this collective social action an extension of the Day of Deceased’s Polish tradition? Probably, but it lasted over twenty long months of persistent campaigning associated with many ups and some downs. This article is also a tribute to those who helped us and there were many who immediately understood that we couldn’t fail in this mission because there was no one to accept our excuses in case we failed.

And we didn’t fail. On the eve of November 26, 2016, during the Polish Cycling Season Ending Ceremony; a commemorative plaque was unveiled at the entrance to the track of the Pruszkow Velodrome. The families of Witold Stachowiak and Tadeusz Wlodarczyk were able to witness in person this very solemn and important event for the Polish cycling community.

Unveiling a plaque commemorating the tragically deceased cyclists - Arena Pruszkow

The obituary on the granite plaque reads as follow:

 “The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them.”
In memory of
Marek Kolasa
Krzysztof Otocki
Witold Stachowiak
Tadeusz Wlodarczyk
Jacek Zdaniuk
cyclists of the Polish National Team who died on March 16, 1978 in unsolved circumstances in the plane crash near Gabare in Bulgaria.

From a time perspective, I can say that all of my teammates held this tragedy deep in their hearts and memories, but somehow the spark to action was missing for over 37 years. As soon as we started the campaign, I could see the overwhelming agreement that something had to be done for our five lost teammates. The social mobilization reached people who never heard about this tragedy as well as those who were first informed when it happened.
After our meeting in Richmond, VA during the UCI World Road Cycling Championship, we started our social action by reaching out to as many as possible. Undoubtedly, the initial assistance provided by Sina Odgubemi and Roxanne Bauer from one of the World Bank Blogs, People Spaces, Deliberation was a huge in advancing the message to the cycling audience around the world. Chris Peck lent us a hand with social media channels at the UCI HQ in Aigle, Switzerland and renowned Polish cycling reporter and broadcaster Tomasz Jaronski contacted me with yet another aspiring writer of the younger generation Jakub Zimoch, who wrote a beautiful piece about our mission in the Polska Times. His article was well received by many cycling enthusiasts in Poland. All of our efforts would have been in vain if it were not for my friend, Waclaw Skarul, then the President of the Polish Cycling Federation.
One of our former teammates Andrzej Pajor designed and made the plaque in his stone-workshop, and a few weeks later quietly along with another one of our teammates Witold Mokiejewski, he drove from Wroclaw to Pruszkow to mount the plaque at the entrance to the track at the velodrome. Then Adam Baloniak, Tomasz Celmer, Ireneusz Olszacki, Radoslaw Serafin, Marek Kulesza, Andrzej Pajor, and I collected the funds needed to pay for the plaque.
In my determination to drive this action, Adam Baloniak sent me a picture from the 1977 National Track Championships where I stood on the podium with two of my long lost friends and competitors Marek Kolasa and Krzysztof Otocki, both died in the 1978 plane crash. It was a very sobering feeling but one that also electrified me to carry on.  From this moment, I knew a proper honoring for these victims would happen no matter what.  And it finally did after 38 years of total silence regarding their tragic death.
American cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead, once stated: “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Perhaps we did not change the world, but we honored the forgotten from the past and we will enlighten many in the future. Olympic cycling hopefuls from all over the world would now be able to reflect on their lives before entering the track of the Pruszkow National Velodrome.
President Skarul called me right after the unveiling ceremony, I could sense that he was really moved by this event; especially with the reaction of the families which finally were recognized for the terrible loss of their loved once. The reaction of the grandmother of Tadeusz Wlodarczyk, who cried tears of relief and gratefulness, was very gratifying. The green Brazilian granite plaque radiates with the memory of the five young talented athletes whose lives were cut short. We truly hope that at some point the archives of the National Institute of Remembrance will shed light on this still unsolved catastrophe. The families deserve to know the truth.
Why should we share this story with the global readership of People, Spaces, Deliberation Blog at the World Bank? Once, I heard President Jim Y. Kim passionately asked young people to change the world. I would add that this call for social change should also be directed for those who are young at heart. I must say that in order to be involved in such social action you have to be in a very unique selfless emotional mode usually associated with maturity. I know that somehow I was getting ready for this call when I was involved in the commemoration of the Israeli Olympians slain in Munich in 1972. I truly hope that one day at the Opening Ceremony I will eyewitness a minute of silence for the Munich 11 – we are working very hard everyday towards this still unrealized wish of the families and the Olympic community.
Overall, it took over twenty months of nudging, countless phone calls overseas, early morning hours on the Internet, but we all feel like a heavy burden of moral responsibility has been removed from our shoulders.  Although it was an emotional and time consuming task with no space for errors we now feel we can move forward with our lives.
If after reading this article one has the impression that this process was smooth please think again. In a situation like this we should focus on final outcomes and pay tribute to the lives of those who left us so tragically and prematurely. Whenever you try something new you have to deal with growing pains, ruffled feathers, and reluctant, or even doubtful reactions of those who are still stuck in time. His Holiness The Dalai Lama once said: “It is not enough to be compassionate – you must act.” … and we did. I believe that from time to time we should take the chance of and do good by local positive social actions to enhance our and others lives.
On December 20, 2016, my daughter, Agnes who is an aspiring military physician, out of the blue invited me for a walk at the Arlington National Cemetery. While we were waiting for the Changing of the Guard ceremony, I asked, “Why did you want to be here?” She replied: “I will be serving families of those who paid the highest price, and I can’t ever forget that.”

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Submitted by Krzysztof Głombowicz on

Mój przyjacielu bardzo dobry i refleksyjny artykuł, pozwól, że zamieszczę dwa cytaty, które są mi bardzo bliskie.
"Pewne zdarzenia dzieją się w naszym życiu po to, abyśmy mogli wrócić na prawdziwą drogę. Inne po to, aby zastosować w praktyce to, czego się nauczyliśmy. I w końcu są takie, które dzieją się, aby nas czegoś nauczyć."
"Gdzieś jest ciemno, trzeba więc iść i zapalić światło. Tylko tak należy działać. Gdybyśmy ciągle liczyli na to, że światło zapali ktoś inny, to często błądzilibyśmy w ciemnościach. A ja nie chcę żyć w ciemnym kraju. Nie zajmuje się tym, kto to światło miał zapalić i dlaczego tego nie zrobił. Widocznie na razie nie mógł. A nam się chce i często bierzemy ster w swoje ręce. Z radością i przekonaniem, że się uda! Nie można oglądać się na innych. I wiele się udaje. Najwięcej wtedy, gdy jednoczymy siły!" - polska aktorka, Anna Dymna

Submitted by Jose Samuel Manzano Perez on

First of all, it was impressive for me to read in the introduction that All Saints Day is celebrated in Poland. I always thought that it was a Latin American tradition. I see that the traditions are almost the same. Second, I do not know how it feels to lose some of your best friends, but I can understand a little bit that feeling. It was good that they honored them. I like that you acted to this situation. You did something, you made whatever to honored them. As it says in the article, we need to do positive social actions.

Submitted by Sophia Burgess on

While reading this article I was instantly moved with the time and effort you took to make sure these bicyclist's were remembered. I also really appreciated the fact you did this for their families. Not many people can be selfless like you are doing this cause. In the article you stated "Perhaps we did not change the world, but we honored the forgotten from the past and we will enlighten many in the future." What you said in the article really touched me because in my opinion, people who are gone from earth should never be forgotten and should be appreciated for what they have done with their time here on earth.Thank you for sharing your article with us.

Submitted by Josh Johnson on

'All Saints Day' seems like a very beautiful day. I think by participating in or acknowledging the honoring of the dead would make anyone feel at peace when they know that they will, at some point, pass away and that there would be strangers that will clean their graves and place flowers, wreaths, and candles. Every time I visit my family in India, we would always place candles at my grandparent's graves and make sure they were clean. To think that there are strangers that would do the same is pretty wonderful.

Submitted by Martin Guzman on

It is regrettable to lose young athletics who have a very successful future ahead, but there is nothing we can do to reverse it. However, it is very polite from the people to commemorate them by making a commemorative plaque to remember them today and on the future.

Submitted by Alexandra Mylonas on

First and foremost, this was very inspiring and moving. I can see how many social actions were taken place, as you relentlessly tried to give the recognition your teammates deserved. Starting a campaign, and connecting with others who have access to a large audience on social media to help get this message across; informing others who may not have even heard about the tragedy. Going far and beyond to even collect the proper funds for a plaque to commemorate those that lost in the plane crash. Having writers write blogs, that emphasize the importance of commemorating the cyclists of the Polish National Team. It creates awareness, and knowledge to those who may not even be paying attention to whats taking place. Using different forms of communication, whether thats connecting with others and their sources, using social media, writing blogs; it allows us to share whats going on around the world so people can be aware of tragedies like this one here.

Submitted by Jason Acevedo on

After reading this article I related in to my life at the beginning of the article because I grew up in Mexico and we do a similar celebration in November 1st and November 2nd. It is called "The Day of the Death" or "Dia de los Muertos" in spanish and the celebration is similar to the celebration in Poland. This article taught me that hard work does pay off even if it seems to take long if you keep working hard and putting time on the goal, one day you will see the results. I am glad there was emotional justice for the five Polish cyclists.

Submitted by Melqui Diaz on

I always say that with determination and the willingness to do what one is determined to do everything can be accomplished. This was the case of the people involved in the commemoration and honoring of these five young cyclists whose lives were shortened by an unknown tragedy. After many years, this loss will be recognized and known around the community. It is amazing to see how the determination and action of people can make changes in society to bring hope and happiness to others.

Submitted by Christine on

Determination is a powerful force. With determination, anything can be achieved. With determination, these young cyclists were able to do what they loved to do for their country. And with determination, their friends and colleagues were able to come together and set up a plaque in honor and recognition of their hard-work. Through the process of setting up the plaque and the plaque itself, the group of colleagues and friends were finally able properly call to attention and commemorate the lives of their fellow teammates for their families and spread awareness for others.

Submitted by Arthur Carleo on

I have never dealt with the sudden loss of a deeply loved one, but after reading this I begin to imagine the possibilities of losing someone I value so much. Time is indiscriminate, but the law of life is hard to accept when someone's time ends so suddenly. No one wants anyone they love to fade from existence, so mementos are kept to ensure they are not forgotten. I am afraid to be introduced to this kind of reality because I don't want to let go of anyone right now, but I would be foolish to think that my desire is possible. If I lost someone I would definitely find the best course of action to "close the door behind me" and move on. I appreciate the correlation Sibilski made involving his daughter and him at the Arlington Cemetery. Remembrance is crucial to us all.

Submitted by Nicole Warren on

The loss of these men is truly heartbreaking, but I see Gods hand in the situation and used the bad for good. I see this because of the lessons learned, maturity growth and new insights and convictions. I too have lost a teammate from two drag racers who collided and drove onto the sidewalk and hit her. She was an amazing girl, loved the Lord, very nice,and a military daughter of a 2 star general for the navy. She is currently buried at the Arlington cemetery. It was definitely a life changing moment for myself, my team, and my school. It was heartbreaking, but during this time I have never seen a community come together to support and love one another like during this time. Without this defining moment in my life I wouldn't be who I am today, and I defiantly see good that came out of this terrible situation and I praise God for it.

Submitted by Angela Muca on

This was a very interesting article filled with emotional concepts interrelating with one’s ought gratitude for the ones who are no longer with us. To be more specific, the author, who was raised in a loving Polish community of people who shared the same cultural values and passion for cycling, opened his heart and mind in the process of acknowledging and verbalizing his appreciation for people who have passed away in the course of his life. Whether it is in remembering friends, colleagues or brave strangers in the military who risk their life to keep us safe, they all deserve to be honored for their contribution in the making of humanity.

Submitted by Anna Sousa on

This article is very inspiring to me. I think that when something tragic like death happens, especially in this case where there was never any real closure because the cases of these deaths are unsolved, it is really easy for us to sit and think negatively. We have a tendency to always dwell on our sadness and throw ourselves countless pity parties. These men did the opposite by trying their hardest to bring recognition to the sad death of their friends. We always underestimate the potential we have to impact others. The article mentioned when president Jim Y. Kim asked young people to change the world, we constantly doubt ourselves and think that we're too small or not enough to actually make an impact or difference. This article shows that with perseverance and dedication we can make an impact. Some people might think the outcome of all of the hard work these men went through to get that plaque engraved and recognized was insignificant, but it brought closure and relief to five families, which probably meant the world to them, and truly made and impact.

Submitted by Branden Denchfiled on

Beautiful article on the remembrance of your fallen comrades. The hard work and actions which you have taken to commemorate them are valiant and admirable. With the advent of the internet and social media, I can certainly imagine your story--their story-- getting the true recognition it deserves. Your hard work has surely made up for any loss-time in process, and I look forward to one day observing a moment of silence for the Munich 11.

Submitted by Jordan Vu on

"The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them"
The quote on the plaque struck out to me. It connected to me personally because I lost someone who was and will always be important to me. That person is my mother. Ever since her death I've been struggling with depression and a lot of the times I just wanted to disappear. I planned on enlisting after this semester, but my brother stopped me. He made me realize that I was not being grateful for blessing I have in life. From that day on I realize that the things that was given to me in life was because my family never wanted me to struggle, they never wanted me to be that kid that didn't have the necessary things that other kids had. The quote connected to me because I want to be successful in life so that I can tell my story. To show that the person I became is all because of my mother.

Submitted by Kelcie Bravo on

It's very heartbreaking when you lose someone near to your heart. But remembering them in a way that you can cherish forever is a good thing. A plague of the bicyclists who passed away in front of the track. It created a great change in the people of the polish cycling community.

Submitted by Laura Pineda on

It very heartbreaking to hear that these five men have passed a ways. But what we need to remember that the are in a better place now and that they left happy because they have fufilled there goals. As well as they left behind amazing memorize and made a different from the smallest thing they did to the biggest. They had an impact in people life. Now these 5 men Rest In Peace

Submitted by Anonymous on

The theory is interesting. I appreciate the people who did this. It teaches me doing positive things in a social life.

Submitted by Carlos Diaz on

It is sad to read about this tragedy, but I am glad that they are finally receiving the honor they deserve. I am glad to see that their friends and families still remember them and thanks to the efforts they made they now will be remembered forever. It is really amazing to see how a small group can make a change in our society, and I am glad that they did this because it will serve as an example to follow.

Submitted by Diana Azucena on

The unforgettable lives of the five cyclist who passed away in the plane crash will now never be forgotten thanks to the positive social actions of the remaining teammates and others involvement. This blog didn't just explain what the Plaque importance and significance is to the lost ones and their families, but motivates one to want to be a part of a positive social action or even initiate one. It was very inspirational to read about how although it wasn't an easy or smooth process it was successfully done by the ones who supported the cyclist the most. It may have taken 38 years later, but it finally the cyclist were able to be honored the proper way

Submitted by lauryn fanguen on

I appreciate this organization shedding light on this tragedy.

Submitted by Thaina Acosta on

After reading this article, I felt as though it hit home. My family in El Salvador, as well as Mexico have a similar tradition, and it's been that way for years. I never realized the wonderful society in Poland was, nor that they all came together to send their love to those who've passed. It is devastating to know what happened to those lives that were lost, but it's good to know that will never be forgotten. The plaque and the people of Poland, and the efforts everyone goes through to keep the memories of others alive is well worth it, and will not go unnoticed.

Submitted by Anonymous on

This is a very touching article. I think it is a great thing to remember those who have passed. They should never be forgotten. It's amazing that you were able to get the plaque for them so everyone can remember them. And it is uplifting to know that so many people wanted to help.

Submitted by Jonathan Portillo on

Great article! Prayers out to the families who have lost their loved ones in that tragic accident

Submitted by Stephanie Coreas on

It makes me very happy that people worked hard to make sure the 5 cyclists were remembered. The quotes of differenf people spoke to me very much. It's is obvious that the author went deep into his past by the vivid descriptions in the blog. I can't imagine the feeling of recieving a picture with two old friends who are unfortunately no longer with us. Hats off to all of those who supported and work towards this goal!

Submitted by Harrison Sherman on

This post was powerful. Along with the tragedy of those 5 cyclists losing their lives, I was most affected by the contribution they're lives and deaths inspired in others. The whole story caused me to stop and think about what contributions I am making to society, and whether or not those which I have made have been successful. At the end of the day, the future is never certain.

Submitted by Camila Koufios on

Starting off with a very cultured background, the Polish seem to pay much importance to the All Saints Day and just like any immigrant when you are not able to make it back to our once home we celebrate in spirit many miles away. Two very important people are mentioned in the article, Margaret Mead and The Dalai Lama, in which both quotes are very significant. Margaret Mead quote has a lot of meaning in a few short words, changing the world does not require a lot of people who care those few people are the ones who do make a change and contribute so much to society. The Dalai Lama taking action and it is not enough to just care you must show it. Both wise contributors of society have on thing in common from the quotes discussed, they both move in the direction of making a difference, caring and doing something about it.

Submitted by Leslie Lopez on

I think that this was a very interesting article. To start off I think it is a great thing that they come together to remember the lives of the ones who died. and the fact that part of it was tribute to those who helped them as well was also interesting. and just the things they were able to accomplish like the granite plague. overall I liked this article became of the work and the determination they had for the remembrance of there friends.

Submitted by Moe Ahmed on

It Is devastating and I'm very unfortunate that the five cyclists never finished living their full life. They had their whole lives ahead of them, now I wish nothing but my deepest condolences goes to their families, friends and the people who knew them. it makes me think that I should contribute more to other people and help others. I think leaving a legacy behind is far more important than living my life as an everyday regular joe. thank you for this story it truly has inspired me.

Submitted by Nick Bailey on

It is very tragic what happened to the cyclists but it is uplifting to see all the effort and hard work put into making the plaque and dedicating it to them. They will never be forgotten.

Submitted by Robeannes Javier on

After reading this article, it's devastating to hear that these five young cyclists lost their lives in this tragic plane crash. One can only imagine what this family went through knowing that their boys weren't going to be able to come home that night. However, I think that campaigning and commemorating the memory of the cyclists not only shows respect to the lives of these boys but also to their families and the legacy they withheld.

Submitted by Adalid Saavedra on

When one is to make a sacrifice, that person must understand what to expect from the outcome of making such sacrifice(s). This video almost drove me to tears hearing about how these young men sacrificed themselves in order to send a message.

Submitted by Faisa M. on

Proir to reading this article, I was not aware of this tragedy. This article did a tremendous job informing me. It was interesting to hear from the president's input. Also, it was heart-warming reading the end. Overall this article was interesting.

Submitted by Cecilia Porto on

It is very sad to read about the tragedy of those five cyclists, and i cant imagine what you went through, but the courage it took To honor them in such a beautiful way is not taken for granted, it makes me proud to know that there are people on the world with such good intentions and good heart.

Submitted by Rakeb Teklehiwot on

This is the first time I am hearing about All Saints Day. I have learned a lot of about the celebrations and it was a way great because it will strength my knowledge. It is very moving and power to have people coming together to celebrate the young cyclists' lives. Their lives has an affect on people and it was amazing of how their stories will be told. This is what society should be like. Building each other through a tragedy.

Submitted by Tuan Phong on

This article is very powerful. It is my pleasure to experience that people come together to memory these 5 young cyclists' hard work. Although the lives of 5 young cyclists were shortened but their talents will continues transmitted for many years to come.

Submitted by Alyssa Lin on

This was a very moving and powerful article. It is heartbreaking that these individuals whose lives were lost too soon. Because of your determination and commitment, these athletes are remembered and honored.

Submitted by Robeannes Javier on

It's devastating to hear that these five young cyclists lost their lives in this tragic plane crash. One can only imagine what this family went through knowing that their boys weren't going to be able to come home that night. However, I think that commemorating the memory of the cyclists not only shows respect to the lives of these boys but also to their families and the legacy they withheld.

Submitted by Katheline on

I like the fact that most people have delivered a reply of compassion.

Submitted by Jose Pereira on

I find this story very touching and full of inspiration. First, you have these young athletes who despite living in a difficult time they embraced freedom and love for the outdoors in order to demonstrate not only to themselves but to everyone that life is about people coming together in celebration to what truly matters, and that is life. Now, what better way to celebrate life than pushing our bodies to their very limit in a competitive friendly environment. This article is more than just these five young talented athletes. It’s about what they represented in that time and how even now all their efforts still resonate in the heart of many. A power so strong that even to this day it has fueled people to take action regardless of the amount of time it would take or the small room for error they had. In the end, I believe that this post about this event is an example of something much bigger that what meets the eye. This is about honoring true effort and freedom, it’s about celebrating life and above everything else, it’s about the power of positive actions and how they echo and give strength to the future generations to come. Indeed, this truly is what honoring life is all about.
Jose Pereira

Submitted by elena tabarzadi on

I think saint day is very important because its reminder for what and who we have lost and by looking at the past we can set our future better.
the death of the cyclist was a tragedy. I'm glad that they haven't forgotten and everybody see the effort they made. everybody appreciate the effort of the organization for keeping their names alive.

Submitted by Rakeb Teklehiwot on

This is very moving to read because it was nice to read about a community coming to celebrate the people who have died in the plane crush. I haven't heard about the traditions with All Saints Day. it's beautiful and important that their lives and legacy with continue.

Submitted by Allison Lazo on

i found it really surprising how there are more countries who also celebrate all saint day. we are not as different as we really think we are. this was a really nice article and i think is teaches us a valuable lesson. It takes more than one person to make a change in the world. when we work together we can make a big difference and do things that we cant even imagine. we not only make a difference but also get the satisfaction of helping out and making a difference .

Submitted by Thy Nguyen on

After reading this article, I feel empower and a strive to change the world - either if it's a huge change or small small. It amazes me to think that after so many years, a tribute can be done with the help of so many people! This article allows me to believe that if I want to make a difference, I can do so if I put my mind into it. I believe that living a life without meaning is like not living at all. I hope to leave a lasting memory behind me because if "death is a destiny to us all" then I want to live a life with lots of love and meaning.

Submitted by kolaleh on

Hi professor,
I miss your class, I always know that whatever you write has a great purpose,
doing good is always good no matter what,
thank you very much,

First off I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that I'd like to ask if you do not mind.

I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your
mind prior to writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my
thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to
15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure out how to begin.
Any suggestions or tips? Appreciate it!

Submitted by David Hagan on

I think it's inspiring and great too see that the people you love and care about will always be acknowledged in the present and the future. Also, I think it is important to use this story to the world to inspire and to never give up to make the world a better place.

Submitted by Monica Ramos on

When you began the article talking about the day of the saints, my mind instantly went to El Dia De Los Muertos (the day of the dead). I think these are amazing celebrations that help us keep the memory of those that we have lost. Then you continued to talk about the cyclists and I think that coming out to talk about them in a way that commemorates them is really powerful. And I think that you are honoring the message of the plaque. The story behind this is very devastating and I couldn't begin to imagine what the families had to go through, but I do hope that this article did help give them a bit of peace in knowing that they were admired.


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