Nation pauses to honor COVID-19 victims

New York City remembered the victims of COVID-19 Tuesday during the first nationwide memorial dedicated to the pandemic.

The ceremonies featured the lighting of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, the illumination of buildings and the ringing of church bells in a national moment of unity and remembrance.

Brooklyn Army Terminal was one of the many buildings illuminated in amber.

“In honor of all we’ve lost, the good people – every one of us can picture someone in our lives, every one of us can picture the families who have lost someone – in honor of them, this city will light buildings all over New York City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at the Statue of Liberty. “People will hear church bells all over New York City. This city will have one feeling this evening, a feeling of solidarity with those families.”

A wreath used during the memorial ceremony.

A vigil organized by Better Chinatown was held at the Dust Bowl in Leif Ericson Park.

“It was deeply meaningful to attend a ceremony in honor of those we lost to COVID-19 in Leif Ericson Park today,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes, who created a website where people can share the names and stories of those who have died during the pandemic.

“We would love to hear more about the person you are remembering, so that we might celebrate their life and memory more fully: What they meant to you, memories that bring you peace, their impact on your world,” Gounardes said.

Memorial participants hold American flags.

Councilmember Justin Brannan, who also attended the ceremony, said, “COVID-19 should be embedded in our national memory as a reminder of the importance of taking care of each other, and we should continue reflecting on our losses so that this catastrophe never repeats itself.”

Police officers with Councilmember Justin Brannan and State Senator Andrew Gounardes Photo courtesy of State Senator Andrew Gounardes

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