published Monday 11 July 2022 at 11:46

“Just (re) married!” About 500 couples celebrated a symbolic wedding on Sunday, under the blue sky of New York, a ceremony full of color, joy and emotion to heal the wounds of Covid.

Wreaths on their heads, wedding dresses or eccentric dresses, couples, many of them already married, walked in procession, before their union was pronounced on a large stage by an imam, a rabbi and a pastor. Some could barely hold back the tears.

“We were supposed to get engaged on March 24, 2020 in Hawaii, but obviously the pandemic wiped everything out,” Erica Hackman, a white wedding dress, on her husband Richard’s arm, told AFP in the festive atmosphere of Damrosch Park. at the foot of Manhattan buildings.

The couple, expecting a child, married the following summer “on the roof of a building, with a close family, less than 20 people, all masked,” recalls Erica, 35. “It was a really small wedding. So today it’s really important to come and celebrate with other people who have experienced the same thing,” adds Richard, 37.

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The ceremony, organized by the Lincoln Center, a cultural institution in New York, was presented as a recovery session for couples separated by Covid or whose marriage had been ruined.

But everyone was welcome. New York had been hit hard by the pandemic in the spring of 2020 and had come to a halt, images of empty Times Square and makeshift morgues circling the world.

“There is so much hate these days. Having a day where we simply celebrate love is important,” says Wonderful Lloyd-Kline, 56, who came with Anisa, whom she married in 2008, in Toronto, Canada. Canada.

“We are a homosexual couple, for us it is very important to go out, to show ourselves in public”, he assures, referring to the American Supreme Court, that some fears will question the right to marriage for all after that of abortion.

Some are very young, others, like Esther Friesner Stutzman and her husband Walter Stutzman, have been married since 1974. “He promised me a trip to Paris,” she smiles.

Among the walking couples, Anne-Marie Colon, 59, arrived with a beautiful photo of her boyfriend, Louis Steven, “the love of her life”, a Bronx professor who died of Covid in April 2020.

“We were supposed to get married in Aruba (…) I thought coming today could be a beautiful celebration of the life we ​​have had together for 11 years,” she explains with a smile.

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