Gainesville city leaders remember and honor those who died from COVID-19

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 10:54 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Mayra Vega’s family has been hit hard by COVID-19. She said she lost her mother in law and brother in law to the deadly virus.

“Remembering is beautiful, and they were beautiful lives.”

Leaders of the city of Gainesville honored those two precious lives and many others in a remembrance ceremony outside of city hall.

“It means a lot to us because all lives matter,” said Vega. “It is very hard to lose two family members with this pandemic.”

Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe believes this ceremony showcases what Gainesville is about.

“We are a community that really supports each other and comes together in times of tragedy. I think this has been no exception.”

He said his heart is with families like Vega’s who have lost a loved one or multiple loved ones due to COVID-19.

“We want them to know we mourn with them, and we grieve with them. They are our brothers and sisters, our parents, our grandparents. We know that it was not supposed to be their time, but we will remember their contributions to our community and how important they were and continue to work, so their lives were not lost in vain.”

They rang the clock tower outside of city hall for each life lost in the county during the pandemic. Vega said this act of honor is meaningful.

“It’'s really nice. It brings a smile into my heart because it shows that people care and that the city is caring. They are aware of the pain that right now this pandemic has put into the whole world.”

67 lighted flowers are shining bright in the pond outside of city hall. Similar events took place across the country, including one in Washington D.C. at the Lincoln Memorial.

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