WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a resolution to memorialize those lost to the COVID–19 virus and recognize the suffering of COVID–19 survivors. The resolution would designate the first Monday in March as “COVID–19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day.” U.S. Representative Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) introduced this resolution in the House.
"New Mexicans have lost 4,415 family members and friends to COVID-19 already, and the loss grows each day,” said Heinrich. “We need this official memorial day to honor the memory of those we’ve lost, acknowledge the continuing grief felt by their loved ones, and recognize those still coping with the long-term effects of the virus. I’m proud to be a part of the effort to make this happen."
“Our hearts hurt from everything and everyone that this pandemic has stolen from us, and that’s why I’m introducing this resolution with Senators Markey and Heinrich -- to remember the family, friends, and neighbors we loved and those who continue to be affected by this unprecedented pandemic,” said Warren.
“More than 613,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, including more than 18,000 people in Massachusetts. Families across the country have mourned the loss of a loved one, buried a friend, or coped with the death of a partner because of this horrific disease. We owe these families the honor and recognition they deserve, and by marking COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day, we will annually remind ourselves of the deadly cost of this pandemic while reaffirming our commitment to getting through this crisis together,” said Markey.
Nearly thirty five million people have been infected in the United States, and more than 600,000 have tragically lost their lives. COVID–19 has had a disproportionate impact on low-income communities and communities of color, with higher infection and fatality rates, exacerbating inequities already prevalent in our systems that must be addressed.
The resolution is supported by the advocacy organization, Marked By COVID.
"It is healing to have our pain recognized," said Janeth Nunez del Prado, LCSW and New Mexico Marked by COVID Hub Leader.
“As President Biden said, ‘To heal, we must remember,’” said Kristin Urquiza, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Marked By COVID, the nonprofit leading the grassroots COVID Memorial Day charge. “At our core, those most harmed by COVID want two simple things: we want our loved ones to be remembered, and we want to spare others from this pain. It feels especially meaningful that Senator Warren and Representative Stanton--both marked by COVID themselves--are championing this work along with Senators Markey and Heinrich; by designating a permanent COVID Memorial Day, we are forever safeguarding the legacies of people like Charles Krebbs, Mark Urquiza, Isabelle Papadimitriou, Dr. Gaye Snyder, Rami Samman, Genevieve Martinez, Mike Horton, Carlos Rangel, Earla Dawn Dimitriadis, and Senator Warren’s brother Donald Reed Herring in our collective, public memory.”
A copy of the resolution is available here.