What to Know
- The MTA is honoring 136 employees who have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began with a digital memorial
- The digital memorial features tribute photos of the fallen transit workers accompanied by a commissioned poem and original score
- The tribute will play three times a day at 107 subway stations through Feb. 7
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is honoring its 136 employees who have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began with a digital memorial at 107 subway stations, the authority announced Monday.
The tribute features photos of the fallen transit workers accompanied by a poem titled “Travels Far” by former U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith. The poem was commissioned by the MTA and will appear in multiple languages at the designated stations.
The eight-minute video tribute will play three times a day, at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., through Feb. 7, transit officials said. An online version is accompanied by an original score by composer Christopher Thompson.
“COVID-19 has been a devastating scourge on our entire country and, tragically, that includes the MTA’s workforce,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye, who recovered from his own bout with the virus last spring. Foye added, “We quickly made sure that those families who lost an MTA worker to COVID were taken care of financially, but the launch of today’s memorial is aimed at personalizing the legacies of those who died during the pandemic."
Tony Utano, President of Transport Workers Union Local 100, urged riders to "stop for a moment during your daily travels and reflect on these departed heroes, the lives lost, and the heartbreak being carried by their families and co-workers"
Interim MTA President Sarah Feinberg said she can't wait it without crying.
"To New Yorkers and our customers, these men and women showed up every day to serve the public, and I think it's a wonderful opportunity for people to come into our system and take a minute and pay their respects," Feinberg said.