April 30, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Queens residents along with elected officials will come together Saturday to remember the more than 8,000 people who called the world’s borough their home that were killed by COVID-19.
The deceased will be honored by friends and family members during the “Queens Covid Remembrance Day” ceremony from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the George Seuffert, Sr. Bandshell in Forest Park. The service will be livestreamed.
The event offers families an opportunity to mourn the loss of relatives killed by the coronavirus. Many people were unable to have a funeral and/or wake for their loved ones due to pandemic restrictions.
The 8,384 Queens residents who were killed by COVID-19 will be recognized with 400 empty benches, as well as a floral display and art installations.
Each bench will bear the name and portrait of an actual resident from Queens lost to COVID-19. The portraits will be created by the 16-year-old artist behind the Faces Of Covid Victims project free of charge.
The park bandshell will be decorated with yellow hearts that bare the names of people outside of the borough who died from the coronavirus — through the efforts of the Yellow Heart Memorial.
Artist Kristina Libby of The Floral Heart Project will create an original floral heart wreath for the day as well.
The event will also include an interfaith prayer service, testimonials from survivors, a tribute to frontline workers and a sunset vigil.
The ceremony was organized by the group Covid Survivors for Change.
Following the ceremony at 8 p.m., Covid Survivors for Change will host a virtual grief support group for Queens residents impacted by the pandemic. Those interested in participating can register here.