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Alaskans encouraged to ‘Bring Back the Light’

Shine a light for solidarity on Sunday

State health officials are encouraging Alaskans to participate in a statewide show of solidarity with one another by shining a light in front of their homes Sunday evening.

During this pandemic, the Department of Health and Social Services said in a news release, Alaskans have shown considerable strength to adapt and take care of themselves and each other.

“On the eve of Winter Solstice, Alaskans will take a moment and come together to show support and gratitude for one another and their communities, take pride in their resiliency and look forward to brighter days ahead,” the release said. “Each light from every Alaskan will represent brighter days to come, literally and figuratively.”

The vigil is intended to celebrate Alaskans’ resiliency, as well as remember Alaskans lost to COVID-19, according to DHSS. Organizations, neighbors and businesses throughout the state are encouraged to help bring back the light in preparation for brighter days ahead, DHSS said.

“DHSS is encouraging each and every Alaskan, in a moment of statewide celebration, solidarity and reflection, to step outside with others in their household and light a candle or turn on lights, flashlights, headlamps or a lantern,” the release said.

The vigil can take place “wherever Alaskans are — in front of your home or at a location of (their) choosing,” the release said.

While together in spirit, DHSS is asking Alaskans to maintain physical distancing from non-household members.

“We hope to have Alaskans shine lights from every corner of the state,” DHSS said.

More information is available on the event Facebook page or event website, according to DHSS.

Participants are being encouraged to share photos and videos of their recognition of the event on social media using the hashtag #WithYouAlaska.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

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