Mayor de Blasio takes moment to honor COVID victims at national memorial

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- On the eve of the inauguration, Mayor Bill de Blasio took a moment to honor the lives lost to COVID.

New York hasn't had it easy during the coronavirus pandemic, and it seems like the whole country is in tatters.

But Tuesday, over water as rough as the year gone by, there a magnificent sunset.

The Statue of Liberty was swimming in an amber sky.

"This is the ultimate symbol right here, the ultimate beacon of hope," de Blasio said.

As daylight slipped away, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife set sail to pay tribute to all the lives lost and all the heartache that none of us will forget.

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"I remember the first time I went to Elmhurst Hospital and heard the stories from the doctors and nurses of how shocked they were, it was like a thief in the night, just literally the way of imagining how much damage how much pain could be caused," de Blasio said.

In the past year, there's never been a national period of mourning until Tuesday night.

In the twilight of a whole era in American politics, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris devoted this night to the victims of COVID.

The Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool ringed by 400 amber lights, one for every thousand Americans lost.

"To heal, we must remember it's hard sometimes to remember, but that's how we heal," Biden said.

Biden on Tuesday night asked cities from coast to coast to light key buildings in amber, representing candles for all those people who never saw the light of a new day.

"I really have this feeling this is the last night like a real dark storm and in the morning there's gonna be a dawn and it's really gonna feel different," de Blasio said.

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In an emotional farewell, President-elect Joe Biden promised that even as he departs for Washington, D.C., to be sworn in, "I'll always be a proud son of the state of Delaware."


Even after all this time, there still hasn't been a city hit harder than New York.

But as this day faded away, New York was still steaming forward to tomorrow.

It took a full year, 400,000 lives lost and the election of a new president, but finally, Tuesday night, on the eve of the new administration, a chance for the nation to mourn and with good reason to hope for brighter days ahead.

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