Riverhead town officials paid tribute to local victims and survivors of the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, March 1, the date the first case was confirmed in New York State last year.
Town officials, who declared the first Monday of March as COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day, joined representatives from Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead and local clergy for the inaugural ceremony, which included the placement of a memorial tree and the unveiling of a monument.
“COVID-19 has devastated so many families in the Riverhead community, whether they have suffered the loss of a loved one, or continue to feel the effects of the virus,” Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said. “This memorial will remind our residents they are not alone. We stand with them, and support them during their time of grief and recovery.”
Suffolk had 153,316 cases of the virus and 3,095 county residents succumbed to the disease as of March 1, according to state Department of Health data. Of those, there were 3,029 cases in Riverhead, according to Suffolk. The county confirmed its first case on March 7, 2020.
The tree was donated by Case’s Creek Nursery and Masonry and the monument was donated by Rothwell Monuments.