NEW CITY – Rockland County Executive Ed Day was joined at the Allison-Parris County Office Building by local faith-based leaders to commemorate those we have lost to the COVID-19 pandemic through moments of prayer and reflection during a candlelight memorial.
County Executive Ed Day declared a local State of Emergency for Rockland County due to COVID-19 on March 16, 2020. There have been 907 COVID-19 related deaths within Rockland since the start of the pandemic.
“This is a staggering number by any measure and yet each of these deaths is so much more than just a number. These folks were our friends, our family, our neighbors, and each of us carries these members of our Rockland family with us every day,” said County Executive Day. “We honor them with our strength, our resilience, our compassion. While the names of those who have passed due to COVID are not carved into a granite memorial and are not yet recited on an annual basis. They have been carved into the hearts of friends and family; they have been recited daily by those who knew them best. They were loved, and they will always be remembered.”
The following faith-based leaders recited a prayer and lit a candle in memory of the lives lost:
Pastor Brandon McLauchlin, St. Charles AME Zion Church
Rabbi Craig Scheff, Orangetown Jewish Center
Reverend Kathryn Rivera Torea, Central Presbyterian
Imam Syed Ali, Iqra Darul Ehsan Mosque
Father William Cosgrove, St Augustine Roman Catholic Church
Rabbi Yisroel Kahan, Oizrim Jewish Council and Rockland County Human Rights Commission
“Though we have struggled, we have also overcome. We have shed tears, but we have also shared laughter. We have lost, but we have also found so much. Let us always remember how we came together in the face of a common enemy and found ourselves drawing strength from the common dreams and desires we always shared but sometimes forget. As diverse as we may be, we are truly one people. Sometimes it takes crisis and challenge to remind us of that. May we all continue to love and grow with each other as Rockland remembers,” said County Executive Day.
County Executive Day concluded the event by inviting those in attendance to participate in the memorial by lighting their own candle in remembrance.