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More than 5,000 candles were lit Friday night vigil in the first memorial sponsored by county government to residents who died from Coronavirus.
Cutouts of doves imprinted with the message “Forever loved forever missed” were placed around the lake behind the Costa Mesa Avenue of the Arts Hotel in the 7:30 p.m. gathering with more than 50 attendees.
Some people who came carried with them photos and flowers in honor of loved ones who died of the virus. Violinist Richard Adkins and Violette Remington sang to open and close the ceremony.
The memorial service was hosted by County Supervisor Katrina Foley, marking the first time any county official memorialized residents killed by the virus. Foley was not in attendance due to a family emergency, said Foley’s Chief of Staff Debbie Lumpkin.
Foley, who was elected to the Board of Supervisors in March, said earlier this week she hopes next week’s statewide reopening doesn’t dim the memory of the dead. No other Supervisors mentioned the memorial during Tuesday’s supervisors meeting or attended Friday’s event.
Memorial speakers included Dr. Clayton Chau, director of the OC Health Care Agency; Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Irvine); John Stephens, Costa Mesa Mayor; Farrah Kahn, Irvine Mayor; Kim Carr, Huntington Beach Mayor; Tiffany Ackley, Aliso Viejo Mayor; Mike Ramirez, United Food and Commercial Workers (Local 324); Susan Johnson, Health Ministries and Nursing Outreach (Hoag); Walter Muneton, social worker and vice president of the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education; Julie Robles, Orange County Sheriff’s Department; Tim Taber, local business owner.
Voice of OC Reporter Spencer Custodio contributed to this article.