World Day of Remembrance 2018: “Gone, but Never Forgotten”

On Sunday, November 18th, WABA hosted the World Day of Remembrance in DC.

As the waning sun dropped below the horizon, and the falling autumn leaves signaled that a cool breeze and cooler temps were ahead, nearly a dozen riders arrived at Douglas Memorial United Methodist Church to join other community members in solidarity for World Day of Remembrance for Victims of Traffic Violence.

For the first time, WABA had the pleasure of partnering with six local congregations around DC to make World Day of Remembrance happen in a substantive and meaningful way. Earlier in the day, congregations offered sermons, prayers and reflections around the idea of safe streets. The evening gathering was a heartfelt display of community, care and compassion for those lives lost to traffic crashes.

Standing outside of Douglas Memorial Church, participants huddled together as the World Day of Remembrance projection shown on the wall for all to see. WABA’s Executive Director, Greg Billing, read the names of the 31 friends, family and community members lost this year because of traffic related crashes. Many of the victims were the drivers of motor vehicles, while others were people we had known, had ridden with and worked alongside here at WABA.

As the names were read, several passer-bys stopped to pay their respects. There were words of comfort offered by the pastors of Douglass Memorial and Mount Vernon United Methodist Churches. A song soothed our sorrows and a spoken word was delivered that moved many to tears. All in all, it was what we all needed from that space in that time. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Now we must continue in the work of doing all possible to ensure that ZERO lives are lost due to traffic crashes in 2019.

Take the Vision Zero Pledge

To all the participants throughout Washington DC and the region: thank you for supporting WABA and World Day of Remembrance. Without you, it would be impossible for WABA to continue doing the work of making bicycling better for everyone in the region. Your support helps us advocate for better laws and more bicycle friendly traffic lanes.

See the gallery for photos from this year’s World Day of Remembrance gathering in D.C.

Meet Jonathan Stafford, our new Vision Zero Campaign Coordinator

Hello!

I’m Jonathan Stafford, one of the new Vision Zero Campaign Coordinators. Back in 2016 I worked as an intern at WABA, exploring the intersection between Faith and Public Policy in transportation. I am extremely blessed to return to WABA and to take up the important work that connects each of us to D.C.’s plan for zero traffic related deaths in all of our communities.

While serving as a police officer in Texas, I found that I really enjoyed being assigned to the bike patrol for Mardi Gras festivals. After I left the police department and moved to Nashville, I began cycling more often – eventually commuting to school and work by bike. Social justice was my focus and cycling became my passion. Putting on a suit and getting around town by bike was just a way of life. In Rochester, NY, where I’ve lived for the past few years, I‘m know as the minister who rides his bike to Sunday worship services.

As a Vision Zero Campaign Coordinator here at WABA, I get to mix my love of bicycles and social justice work, advancing conversations about race, gentrification, injurious policing, and other justice related issues. This is work that can not be done alone and I look forward to working with residents of DC to make our streets safer for everyone.

Bike trivia about me:

My ideal commute: Trees, fresh air, not too many hills and less than 15 miles.

My style of riding: I mostly commute. But I have started bike camping and look forward to taking a few trips when the Spring arrives.

That one bike do I wish I still owned: my Panasonic Tourist named “Forrester”. Vintage styling, full fenders, and British racing green. Named after the title character from the film Finding Forrester!