By Jill Brooke
Did you see this image?
Prior to civil-rights icon Rep. John Lewis’s coffin going to the Capitol Rotunda, funeral workers in Alabama dropped rose petals on the Edmund Pettus Bridge as his body was carried across the bridge via-horse-drawn carriage.
We, along with many others, were moved by this gesture since flower petals do convey the sentiment of love.
“It was very moving seeing the rose petals on the bridge,” says Laura Dowling, author of “Floral Diplomacy.” “The imagery was poignant and multi-layered: at once conjuring both the drops of blood that were spilled there on “Bloody Sunday” in 1965 – while also honoring the life and legacy of John Lewis – who led us on a path towards social justice in a spirit of peaceful perseverance and unwavering hopefulness. The rose petals symbolize both his trials and triumphs, a perfect tribute to a great man.”
We are more accustomed to seeing the tradition of rose petals being scattered for weddings by a flower girl. Ancient Romans and Egyptians threw seeds – and then flowers – to newlyweds as a symbol of fertility.
Isn’t it a nice thought that the message of love and acceptance becomes a fertile idea and way of life.