Patience and Fortitude

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Patience and Fortitude

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The New York Public Library’s website explains, “During the 1930s, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia named [the library lions] Patience and Fortitude for the qualities New Yorkers would need to survive the economic depression.” I remembered this fact and connected immediately with it the first time I saw Patience and Fortitude wearing their masks in solidarity with the New Yorkers they have watched over for more than a century. It struck me that we would need those virtues to make it through COVID-19 as well. “Those lion statues have seen New York struggle through and overcome many hardships from the 1917 Flu to the Great Depression to September 11th,” I thought. Things were grim in New York in 2020. We were the first to experience the horror that would eventually engulf the whole country. The infection rate was high, hospitals were full, people were dying. It was easy to despair. The masked lions were a powerful symbol of the resolve and resilience of New Yorkers and a reminder that this turmoil, too, would pass into history and the city - like the lions - would remain standing.

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This item was submitted on March 13, 2023 by Gabriella Leone using the form “Share Your Lockdown Staten Island Story” on the site “Lockdown Staten Island”:

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