New York, NY –TWU Local 100 last week, unveiled a permanent new memorial at its downtown, Brooklyn HQ honoring 106 members lost to COVID-19. Embedded lights in the plaque mark the places where the late Local 100 members worked, along with their reporting locations. Local 100 staff and leadership conceived of the plaque to invoke a great constellation of enduring stars.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and New York State Attorney General Letitia James joined the families of the deceased for the official unveiling on Sept. 30.
“In these dark days…we ask ourselves, what are we doing with those who are in our lives right now?” he said.
The Democratic Party nominee for mayor then said that the City of New York betrayed transit workers, who had to go out in the heat of the pandemic “to move the city” without proper protection.
“We fought to get you just masks…just to get the basic services….as you were watching your members get Covid and then go home and potentially infect your family. It’s just wrong,” Adams continued. “We can’t bring them back, but we can dedicate a permanent memorial to acknowledge their existence…our heroes and she-roes were more than those who were on the front lines of law enforcement or EMS or in the hospitals…it was your family members that you lost…my heart goes out to all of you who have lost someone during Covid. “Covid may have killed people physically, but the anatomy of their spirit still remains with you. Don’t ever think that [life] is the conclusion of what we can become and who we will be.”
AG James also hailed those lost to Covid as “heroes and she-roes” who live on in the heart of the city.
“Close your eyes, feel their presence…you will see your loved ones,” James said.
The first African-American woman to serve as New York’s attorney general also said that New Yorkers “must never forget the sacrifices [TWU Local 100] has made.”
“They are heroes and the need to be respected…the lifeblood of our city is the transit system, and they keep it running every day, 24 hours a day,” James said. “You should be honored; you should be recognized. You showed up and risked your life…you were the essential workers; you ensured that other essential workers could do their jobs. You exposed yourself to the virus despite the fact that the stations and stops, buses and trains weren’t clean enough. We remember them and we will always remember them. They are in our hearts.”
The Factory NYC, an art design and fabrication company, under the direction of General Manager Jonathan Epstein, constructed the memorial plaque.