Vigil Honors Healthcare Workers Who’ve Died of COVID-19

DULUTH, Minn.– It’s been a long and exhausting year for healthcare workers who have been on the frontlines fighting COVID-19. And Wednesday, a group of Duluth residents got together to show their support.

Community members lined up along 3rd Street in downtown Duluth. The local chapter of the United Steelworkers Union held a memorial for healthcare workers who lost their lives from COVID-19 over the last year for Worker’s Memorial Day.

“The pandemic is not over. Every day we have hundreds of healthcare workers who are still on the frontlines,” said Deanna Hughes, President of the USW Local 9460.

Participants held and waved signs along with cards written by students from area schools showing their appreciation for those on the front lines. And the memorial ended with a vigil and a moment of silence for healthcare staff that died of COVID-19.

“A lot of times people think that healthcare workers are doctors and nurses but this is everybody. We have janitors, pharmacy techs, lab techs, x-ray techs everyday who are sacrificing themselves trying to help everybody out,” said Hughes.

One of those frontline workers was Aaron Biele, an x-ray tech at St. Mary’s hospital. After being on the front lines of the pandemic during the last year working at a health care facility, he says it’s great to see the community coming together to honor healthcare workers.

“Extremely important, especially all those who lost their lives. That’s who we’re out here for,” said Biele. “Ya know, we’ve all worked so hard this past year through the pandemic and through COVID and everything, putting us and our families at risk so just coming out here to show support for everybody.”

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