The City Council unanimously approved a motion by Councilors Joanne McKenna, Jessica Giannino, and Richard Serino that the city install a memorial plaque at the front of City Hall to pay tribute to Revere residents who lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Noting that the pandemic began one year ago, McKenna said “it would be wonderful to honor the people that have passed, within the city and within the United States.”
Serino said that 159 residents in Revere have died because of the coronavirus. “Let’s hope with the vaccine and with life getting back to normal, that number will stay at 159,” said Serino. “Let’s hope. Let’s pray. I think this [memorial plaque] would be a wonderful gesture to have going forward.”
Mayor Brian Arrigo thanked the councilors for making the motion and the idea of a permanent tribute at City Hall.
“We’ve started the conversation with some BU students around ways to have a space to reflect on how hard this [pandemic] has hit our community,” said Arrigo. “I’ve heard different ideas from inspirational young folks of how to incorporate art and some level of civic engagement to really show in our community strong that we’ve been able to weather this storm and we’ve done it together.”
Arrigo said he will be putting the proposal before the newly formed Revere Public Art Commission. McKenna, one of the sponsors of the motion, is a member of the Art Commission.
Giannino said, “I’m excited to see what the Commission comes up with and I’m sure it will be a great memorial to honor all the lives that were lost in this pandemic.”
Councilor-at-Large George Rotondo suggested that the voices of all residents of all nationalities should be included in the memorial tribute.
He said the lives of the Revere residents lost to COVID-19 should be remembered and celebrated “and if there’s anything that I know about memorializing those that have passed, it’s celebrating their life. If we could do that within this process, I’d be grateful, and more importantly I thank the councilors for putting this motion forward and I fully support it.”
Councilor-at-Large Steven Morabito said, “A memorial plaque for those who lost their lives from the coronavirus is a way to let their loved ones know that we care about our community and not only that, we care about the people in our community. A memorial plaque is great way of letting them know that they will always be remembered and be part of the community.”
Ward 3 Councilor Arthur Guinasso applauded the city for the manner in which it has conducted itself during the pandemic.
“The message should go out loud and clear – please get vaccinated and prevent any further deaths. I look forward to seeing the memorial plaque and I’m very, very pleased that my colleagues put forth this motion and I appreciate their efforts,” concluded Guinasso.