FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2021
Melissa J. Dixon
Erie, PA – County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper today hosted a special memorial dedication in front of the Blasco Library on the anniversary of the first COVID-19 death in Erie County.
A temporary physical memorial, consisting of white doves representing each Erie County resident lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, is displayed on the windows at the Blasco Library. Nightly the doves will be illuminated by purple light. The installation, along with a memorial banner, was a generous donation made by FASTSIGNS® of Erie, PA.
“We dedicate this memorial to the Erie County lives lost,” said County Executive Dahlkemper. “Let it be a physical reminder of the obligation to all, as members of our community, to do whatever it takes to protect, not only ourselves, but our fellow residents.”
To commemorate all who have lost their lives, Erie County residents are invited to sign a leather-bound Book of Remembrance: Erie County COVID-19 Pandemic Memorial, which is located near the circulation desk at the Blasco Library. The Book of Remembrance provides an opportunity for residents to express personal memories of one of those lost or about the many losses from the pandemic in general. Special thanks to Edward Kranz with Kranz Books Bindery for the exquisite work on this sacred relic.
For those who want to sign the memorial book but cannot make it to the Blasco Library, a digital memorial book is available to sign at https://eriecountypa.gov/covid-19/book-of-remembrance-erie-county-covid-19-pandemic-memorial/.
Today’s ceremony began with a moment of silence while church bells rang throughout Erie County and featured an invocation by Pastor Lamont Higginbottom of Second Baptist Church, and remarks made by Mayor Joe Schember, Charlotte Berringer, director of community health services at the Erie County Department of Health, Robert V. Smith, executive director of Pleasant Ridge Manor, Paul Markiewicz, director of Erie County Adult Probation/Parole, Colten Brown’s family, and Blane Dessy, director of the Erie County Public Library. The ceremony concluded with John Burton singing “Amazing Grace.”