Queens leaders memorialize neighbors and honor healthcare heroes
Faith leaders from around Queens gathered in front of their computer screens Tuesday for a remote vigil to commemorate the thousands of neighbors who have died from COVID-19 in the weeks since the borough emerged as the epicenter of the pandemic.
Speakers, including New York Attorney General Letitia James and U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, also honored medical personnel and other frontline workers who have risked their own health to save lives and keep Queens running.
“New Yorkers know all too well the bravery that so many New Yorkers displayed when they rushed into the burning towers of 9/11 and now we watch our brave frontline and essential workers rush in to take care of people suffering from the coronavirus without a second’s delay or thought about their own safety and families,” Meng said.
“These workers have done this with limited protection and We need to work to do better, and we pledge to continue to stand together to build a better future,” she added.
The event was organized by the Queens borough president's office and featured more than a dozen local elected officials and other community leaders sharing messages of unity from their homes.
“I think that overwhelmingly what we believe in is to love thy neighbor, and to love thy neighbor in the real sense of the word,” said State Sen. Jessica Ramos. “For us legislators that should translate into public policy that really is reflective of those needs that any human being may have in order to exist, survive and thrive.”
A slideshow featured images of frontline heroes and included messages of hope, and acts of kindness and goodwill throughout Queens. As the presentation played, faith leaders from all sects and denominations offered prayers and spiritual guidance.
The words may have been different, but the message was the same — hold onto faith, hope, and each other, because Queens will make it through.
“We are each very much part of a larger whole especially, here in Queens, and we will only get through this together and stronger if we are united,” said Acting Borough President Sharon Lee.