Nearly one year after New York State declared a state of emergency following the pandemic, the Town of North Hempstead unveiled a commemorative display to honor those who have been working tirelessly during the pandemic.
The town is the first on Long Island to create a commemorative display for frontline workers. The plaque, located outside the town hall, is dated “March 2021” and is inscribed with the following, “the Town of North Hempstead honors all heroic frontline workers who, at great risk to themselves, remained selflessly dedicated to their community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing vital services, these individuals helped protect the lives of our residents. The town is forever indebted to them for their efforts.”
While the pandemic continues, town officials hosted a ceremony to honor the extraordinary sacrifices made by so many. Town of North Hempstaed Supervisor Judi Bosworth began the commemoration by thanking the frontline workers for their hard work this past year.
“We at the Town of North Hempstead want to thank all of the essential and frontline workers who have given so much to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bosworth said. “The individuals we are acknowledging today, sacrificed so much including risking the health of themselves and their families to keep us safe and they have our deepest and sincerest appreciation. We are living through a remarkably challenging moment in history, however, the extraordinary dedication of these individuals protected our families, friends and neighbors, while also allowing our communities to maintain some sense of normalcy during truly abnormal times. We are so thankful for all of our essential workers—healthcare professionals, first responders, teachers, delivery drivers, grocery store workers and so many more.”
Several councilmembers also spoke and noted some of the ways the Town of North Hempstead has helped the community during the pandemic.
Councilmember Angelo Ferrara listed some of the ways the town has come together during this time including the creation of several events such as drive-in movies, outdoor concerts, a drone show, and fireworks. These events encouraged residents to donate nonperishable food to local food pantries in the area including St. Mary’s, Faith Mission, Our Lady of Fatima, the Shelter Rock Church, Roslyn JCC, Salvation Army and more.
“Their kindness and generosity helped many families in need,” Ferrara said.
Bosworth also highlighted the several ways the Town of North Hempstead’s essential workers helped out during the pandemic to make sure that town services were still available. The town’s Project Independence team made sure the seniors in the town still had easy access to food and medical transportation free of charge during the height of the pandemic. They also created a number of virtual programs to help keep seniors active safely during the lockdown.
“I’d like to take this moment to thank our incredible Town of North Hempstead workforce, who remain dedicated to our wonderful residents,” Bosworth said.
During the video presentation, councilmember Veronica Lurvey, thanked Manhasset High School student Olivia Koutsourakis for inspisring the town to create the commemorative plaque. Lurvey also thanked teachers for their dedication to helping students learn in a virtual setting.
“As the quarantine extended, and many began working from home, a transition to remote learning for students took place as well,” Lurvey said. “Our teachers and school personnel adapted to the changes and continued educating their students in virtual classrooms. Their number one priority was the well being of their students and they excelled in making sure students could still receive a positive educational experience outside of the traditional classroom. Their devotion to our children was on full display this past year and we will be forever grateful.”
Councilmember Mariann Dalimonte mentioned local businesses and the challenges they faced during the early days of the pandemic.
“We are proud to have worked with business leaders throughout the greater North Hempstead community to create our Lift-Up local initiative, which transformed parks and outdoor spaces into dining rooms and even closed streets to make room for outdoor dining and shopping,” Dalimonte said.
Town Clerk Wayne Wink concluded the video by speaking about the impact essential healthcare workers have had and continue to have.
“Our healthcare professionals were on the very frontline of this battle,” Wink said. “As the general public tried to grasp the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, these individuals continued working everyday to keep us safe and healthy whether they were researching antibody tests or working in our hospitals and emergency rooms each and every healthcare professional demonstrated an intense commitment to our collective health. From the bottom of our hearts we thank them for their continued work and for their dedication.”
The commemorative display unveiling will be aired as part of the North Hempstead Strong: Reflections and Messages of Hope during COVID-19 series on North Hempstead TV as well as the town’s social channels.
The town will be broadcasting interviews with frontline and essential workers including Dr. Suchismita Datta, NYU Langone Long Island; Lorraine Massillon, Teacher at Drexel Avenue School in Westbury; Michelle Rott, Customer Service Manager at Shop Rite in New Hyde Park and Member of Local 338; Police Officer Robert Salerno, Nassau County Police Department and Emilio Omar Santiago, Porter and Maintenance Worker and 32BJ SEIU member.
The pieces will be aired on the Town’s YouTube and social media pages as well as North Hempstead TV, the Town’s award winning government access television station. NHTV airs on channel 18 or 63 on Cablevision and channel 46 on Verizon FIOS and on demand at www.mynhtv.com.
For more information about the Town of North Hempstead, visit www.northhempsteadny.gov.
—Additional information provided by the Town of North Hempstead