By Rick Pezzullo—
Westchester County held a ceremony Thursday in the lobby of the Michaelian Office Building in White Plains to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the county’s first confirmed coronavirus case.
The lobby is one of two locations for the county’s “Ribbons of Remembrance” memorial, with another location at Lenoir Preserve in Yonkers. The Ribbons of Remembrance memorial in both locations is a place where residents can attach ribbons in memory of loved ones lost to COVID-19. To date, 2,687 county residents have succumbed to the virus.
County Executive George Latimer said Westchester residents have rallied together since March 2020 but are still in many ways grieving and healing.
“What today is about is remembering those we have lost not as merely an integer or statistic, but as human beings and the valued members of our community that they were,” Latimer said. “The past two years have been filled with low points and dark days but we must push on and we must believe that we will beat back this pandemic with vaccinations and smart choices.”
The event started with an interfaith prayer service led by Reverend Tim Dalton, Rabbi Howard Goldsmith and Imam Shaffieq Chace. Music was provided by the White Plains High School String Ensemble and remarks were made by Latimer, Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairwoman Catherine Borgia, Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler, Westchester County Youth Bureau Executive Director Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden and Poet Laureate B.K. Fischer.
“We hope and pray that the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic are behind us. We look forward to a new life of celebrating milestones face to face, not over Zoom; learning, working, and having fun again together in the flesh,” Borgia said. “But we know we are forever changed — and that’s especially true for those of us who lost loved ones to this deadly scourge. Today, and every day, we remember them. We offer our strength to those left with a hole in their lives and pain in their hearts. The pandemic has reminded us that the journey from darkness to light is one we bear best when we make it together.”
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