Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe today issued the following remarks in anticipation of the July 4 holiday:
Today is the day that most of us would be preparing food and drink, joining friends, and enjoying the ultimate Westport experience of our annual July 4 fireworks display at Compo Beach.
Many of you would typically continue that celebration through the holiday weekend and into the upcoming week. Unfortunately, this year, we can’t gather as we typically do to celebrate our nation’s independence.
Although COVID has restricted our ability to gather, we can’t forget that the July 4 holiday is more than fireworks, parties, and picnics. Instead, it can serve as an opportunity to reflect and redirect the energy we may have spent in those celebratory rituals.
This year let’s be innovative in how we celebrate with close family and friends, staying at home and enjoying each other’s company. Consider taking the time to acknowledge that all of our brothers and sisters, no matter their race, creed, color, religion, sexual orientation or gender expression, deserve the same independence we cherish in Westport.
While there are those who continue to struggle, we must learn from the mistakes of the past, and move forward in a concrete, firm, resolute manner to make the positive changes in our community that reflect the current conditions of this 2020 world.
Town Departments, health and safety officials, and local community volunteers and leaders continue to coordinate and advance the deliberate phased reopening plans. This insures that the difficult decisions that minimized and contained the virus were not in vain. Westport is on the right track, moving forward, cautiously and carefully, but with resilience and hope.
I encourage you to continue this positivity and show your community spirit by engaging in the #ilovewestport campaign. Please check out #Ilovewestport and let us know why you love Westport and how you will commit to making a difference during these changing times.
Personally, I plan to show that “I Love Westport” by committing to wearing a mask out of respect for all my fellow Westporters, by promoting policies that ensure social distancing, by prioritizing health and safety during reopening, and by supporting our local businesses.
And, I commit to engaging in ongoing dialogue that will make all our residents, visitors and businesses feel safe and welcome in Westport.
Let’s celebrate this holiday with hope, imagination and a sense of community. Whether speaking about phased and gradual implementation for reopening, to the difficult but necessary discussions about racism and policing, we are a community of resilience, a community of love and hope, and a community of history with the means to affect true change in how we govern and interact.
I look forward to gathering once again in the near future, with all the necessary steps to keep us safe and healthy, to celebrate our strength and fortitude, and to celebrate our independence.
Thank you, Westport, for your continued cooperation and patience. We are in this together and we will get out of it together — stronger than ever before. I hope that you have a healthy, happy, and innovative Fourth of July Holiday. Please enjoy yourselves and continue to be safe.