Healthcare workers remember colleagues who died from COVID-19

In Commerce, 60 names were read, and 60 lives lost to COVID-19 were honored.

All were members of the SEIU’s United Healthcare Workers in California. The union says during the pandemic they continually showed up for work at hospitals even as COVID wards were overflowing. They were technicians, housekeepers, therapists who the union calls healthcare heroes. 

"She would always tell me if there is a disaster don’t look for me because I’ll be at the hospital working," said one speaker whose mother Risa Luna died of COVID. 

"He would always pick up extra shifts and he always put others first," said Michelle Farcia, who came from Las Vegas with her mom Patricia Garcia and aunt Esther Macias. Her 38-year-old brother Pablo Hernandez worked in hospital transport in San Bernardino.


"We relived everything," said Patricia Garcia, "but it’s beautiful that they did this."

"They deserve this," added Esther Macias. 

Some of the grieving families are calling on lawmakers to declare a national day of remembrance to honor all those who died from the virus. Many of those at the remembrance Monday never got chance to hold a public memorial or hold a proper funeral. In some cases, COVID made that impossible. But on this day they are bonded by a shared pain, and united by pride that their loved ones were heroes. 

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