NY Caribbean community hosts memorial service to honour COVID-19 victimsSunday, May 16, 2021
NEW YORK, United States (CMC) — The clergy and other leaders of the Caribbean American Community in New York are today hosting a “Candles & Roses” memorial service to honour the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Rev Gilford T Monrose, the St Croix, United States Virgin Islands (USVI)-born president of the Brooklyn Center for Quality Life, the memorial service — scheduled to start at 6:00 pm (local time), at the Bethesda Healing Center Church in Brooklyn — will “commemorate Caribbean Americans and others who lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
“To recognise the lives lost to COVID-19, specifically for Caribbean Americans and those in the Caribbean, is an acknowledgment that our loss was tremendous, and the effects of COVID-19 triggered a heavy toll on Caribbean nationals in the Diaspora,” Rev Monrose, pastor of Mt Zion Church of Seventh Day in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) Sunday morning.
“Tonight, we wanted to recognise our collective loss and collective pain, and hope for recovery as much as we can,” added Rev Monrose.
Monrose, who grew up in St Thomas, USVI, of St Lucian parentage, said the memorial sermon will be delivered by United States Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, the representative for the largely Caribbean 8th Congressional District, which comprises parts of Brooklyn and Queens in New York.
Hakeem is also chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the United States House of Representatives.
Monrose said tributes will be delivered by several people including New York State Attorney General Letitia James; Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants; New York Senator Guyanese-born Roxanne Persaud; and New York Assembly Members Jamaican-born Nick Perry and Diana Richardson.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, as well as other federal, state and city elected officials have been invited to attend, Monrose said.
He said the New York City Police Department, the judiciary and members of the Caribbean Community diplomatic corps are also expected to attend.
“This commemoration will be in the form of a gospel concert punctuated by special tributes, prayers and scripture.”
“We hope to inspire and help bring closure and healing to families who lost loved ones to the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic, but were unable to grant them last respects with traditional celebration of life ceremonies because of emergency restrictions,” he said.
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