YORKVILLE – Dozens of Kendall County community members came to a candlelight vigil on Saturday, Sept. 19 outside of the Kendall County Courthouse to pay their respects to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday.
Julie Gondar, chairwoman for the Kendall County Democratic Party, said Ryan Kauffman, who is a candidate for Kendall County Circuit Clerk, was the one who had the idea for the public vigil while she was a "puddle on the floor," as she put it, after hearing of Ginsburg's death on Friday. Kauffman said he wasn't immediately sure of what to do to honor Ginsburg until he saw news coverage of vigils for her on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
"And I was like, there we go – that's it," Kauffman said. "We've got to do it."
The Supreme Court said in a Sept. 18 statement the cause of Ginsburg's death was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas. Court officials said in the statement Ginsburg was surrounded by family when she died at her home in Washington, D.C.
Ginsburg served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until she died. She was 87 years old.
About 40 people attended the Kendall County vigil honoring Ginsburg.
Attendees talked during the Saturday vigil about Ginsburg's legacy and what her court opinions meant for women and other minority groups today. They also talked about how residents can vote early or by mail for the upcoming Nov. 3 general election, along with the importance of following Ginsburg's example and not giving up despite the despair many are feeling after seeing the news of her death.
"The best way to honor Justice Ginsburg is to keep fighting," Gondar said.
Marge Griest of Oswego said she attended the vigil because she had the opportunity to hear Ginsburg speak twice while she was in law school. She said Ginsburg inspired her and she felt Ginsburg's death was not only a great loss not just for the country's highest court, but for the country as a whole.
Griest said she personally has participated in every woman's march she could since the 2016 presidential election. She said she likely would have gone to Washington, D.C. to pay her respects to Ginsburg, had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I'm glad this was here so we could remember her and pay our respects," Griest said. "She should be remembered."
Griest's daughter, Megan, and Keira Frey, both 14, of Oswego said to vigil attendees they can't vote yet because they are too young to do so for the general election.
For those who are of age to vote this time around, "we ask that they vote so that we can have a better place to live," Megan Griest said.
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