Dionne Warwick hosted a National Day of Remembrance for those who succumbed to the coronavirus on Sunday, October 4. Families of the victims of COVID-19, health care workers, faith leaders, and others joined her in this memorial effort.
The virtual event was held in Washington DC and was produced by COVID Survivors for Change, a non-partisan organization that connects those affected by the disease with resources.
"It's time to stand with all the survivors and Americans who have been devastatingly impacted,” Warwick said. “It's time to thank the essential workers and treat this pandemic as it is: an incredible tragedy. And most of all, it's time to pray for those still suffering and for our Nation to unite and come together to mourn and honor the precious lives lost."
"Behind every statistic and every number is a real person whose life was cut short or changed forever,” Chris Kocher, founder of COVID Survivors for Change, said, according to MSN.
“The National COVID Remembrance will carve out a public space to tell their stories and demand our elected officials honor their deaths by doing what needs to be done to stop the spread of disease.”
This isn’t the first time the Grammy Award-winner has used her platform to raise public awareness about the disease. She’s previously drawn attention to the AIDS epidemic and served as a global health ambassador during the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. Her song “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne & Friends raised millions of dollars for AIDS research and prevention.
20,000 chairs were left empty on The Ellipse on Sunday as a dramatic statement about how many lives this disease has claimed. There was also a national moment of silence, musical performances by artists, and memorial tributes for loved ones that were being honored.
Carolyn-Freyer Jones, the creator of #thefridayminute, a 60-second opportunity to honor those affected by the coronavirus every week at noon EST, has endorsed the National Day of Remembrance.
"The goal and mission of #thefridayminute has regarding The National Day of Remembrance is to both promote the event and continue to grow the awareness about the people all around us who are being impacted by COVID every single day -- there's the loss of life which is profound, and there's the loss of understanding that is occurring because of the numbers of people," she said.
Watch the full virtual event below:
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage