After working on the frontlines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic for more than a year, New York City’s essential workers were celebrated during the biggest-ever ticker-tape parade along New York’s Canyon of Heroes.
The event was hosted by New York’s Mayor Bill DeBlasio and featured Jamaican-born nurse Sandra Lindsay as the guest of honor. Lindsay, a nurse in Queens, was given the first COVID vaccine in the country back in December. Lindsay was the grand marshall at the event held on Wednesday.
Speaking with the Associated Press, Lindsay said she was grateful and humbled for yet another opportunity to serve. She said the pandemic is still not over and encouraged residents to get vaccinated.
“What a difference a year makes,” said Lindsay. “Fifteen months ago, we were in a much different place but thanks to the heroic efforts of so many – health care workers, first responders, frontline workers, the people who fed us, the people who put their lives on the line, we can’t thank them enough.”
She continued saying, “we’re celebrating the progress but the pandemic is not over. Our best defense still remains getting vaccinated. We have made tremendous progress but the variants still threaten us. We can beat this, we just need to get vaccinated.”
“We’ve got a lot to appreciate, because we’re well underway in our recovery. We’ve got a lot to celebrate and we’ve got a lot of people to celebrate,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio, who rode during the parade on a float with hospital employees and Mr. Met, the mascot of the New York Mets.
“They deserve a march down the Canyon of Heroes, because it’s something that is reserved for the greatest folks in history. Well, here are some of the folks who made history in New York City’s toughest hour,” he said.
Just last week, Lindsay was honored by President Joe Biden who presented her with the “Outstanding American by Choice” award from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. She was recognized for her contribution to the COVID-19 fight in the United States.
President Biden said that Lindsay will have her hospital scrubs, vaccination card and the badge she wore on the day she received her first dose displayed at the COVID-19 exhibit in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.