September 28, 2020

Governor, faith leaders hold memorial service for those who died from COVID-19

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CHICAGO — Gov. JB Pritzker joined faith leaders in holding a memorial service Thursday for the thousands who lost their lives to COVID-19

More than 8,000 people have died as a result of COVID-19 in Illinois. The governor, family members, friends and religious leaders honored those lost lives at the University of Chicago Chapel.

“We gathered this evening to honor the lives of those already lost to the novel coronavirus and to surround the sick and the dying in the days ahead with our love our prayers and our acts of compassion,” Maurice Charles, Dean of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, said.

Sitting socially distanced from one another at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, speakers shared stories of those who died from COVID-19.

“Tonight was all about the humanity, it was about the men and the women, the boys and the girls, the coworkers and neighbors who have been lost from our Illinois family,” Illinois Lt. Gov. Julianna Stratton, said.

Among those remembered was Ernesto Guzman.

“He was unique sweet clever kind and ever persevering patient encouraging a great joke teller and loved by all. Will always remain in our hearts,” his loved one said.

Walter Blaze was also remembered Thursday.

“He dedicated the next 43 years of his life as a firefighter, and firefighter officer, serving the villages of Niles and helping establish the Palatine rural fire department. While he would have never categorized himself as a hero. But I’m pretty sure his entire life’s work defines him is just that,” James Lange, Blaze’s son-in-law said, said.

“The family and friends of those who have left us share their grief. On behalf of the 8115 souls. We have lost in Illinois to COVID-19,” Pritzker said.