Memorial Day, which became an official national holiday in 1971, was created to honor Americans who died in military service. But it feels appropriate to use the day this year also to honor those who have died from the current pandemic, which so far has killed more Americans than all but three of the dozen wars the U.S. has fought since it became an independent nation. The toll was higher only in the Civil War, World War I and World War II. And it’s bracing to point out that, while 498,332 Americans are said to have died in the Civil War, 116,516 in World War I, and 405,399 in World War II, Americans fought and died in World War I for 19 months; the other two wars lasted four years. The nearly 100,000 American deaths from the coronavirus in 2020 have occurred in less than four months.
I’ve updated the list of New York City healthcare workers who have died because of COVID-19 (a couple from suicide.) Above are pictures of six of them.