Saugus mourns those lost during pandemic, recognizes essential workers
Candles flashed at dusk on Sunday as Reverend John Beach read the names of Saugus residents who have died since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly 200 people attended the candlelight vigil to pay tribute to the Saugonians who died during the pandemic.
As of this week, the City of Saugus has lost 74 residents who contracted COVID-19.
Since March 2020, more than 400 Saugus residents have died and in many cases their relatives have been unable to assemble for a public funeral to honor them due to health measures in place to limit the spread of the virus.
“So we remember them all now,” Beach said.
Beach shared the names of deceased residents whose family and friends have asked to be recognized at the vigil.
Chief Executive Officer Scott Crabtree said his thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has lost someone during the pandemic.
“It’s nice to see the community come together to show our support and our faith,” Crabtree said, adding that the city is doing everything it can to help keep people safe during these difficult times.
Core workers from different professions were also praised at the ceremony for their remarkable efforts over the past 18 months.
State Representative Jessica Giannino, D-Revere, State Representative Donald Wong, R-Saugus and the Board of Selectmen presented citations acknowledging the Saugus Police Department, Saugus Fire Department and Paramedics, Saugus health workers, Saugus teachers and staff, Saugus funeral directors and those who feed the hungry.
Pastor Bob Leroe grabbed his guitar to get the audience to sing “Amazing Grace”, and Stephen Sikorski sang and played the keyboard on several selections.
The ceremony ended with Saugus Sachimes’ a cappella group performing an animated version of “Let There Be Peace On Earth”.
Allan Huberman, the owner of the Mr. Huberman Nursery on Vine Street, donated plants in memory of his daughter Cara for people to take home to remember those who died during the pandemic. Cara Huberman died in May 2020 after a month-long battle with COVID-19.
Selectman Corinne Riley said the vigil was an opportunity to remember and honor those who died during the pandemic, either from COVID-19 or without a traditional service where loved ones can bid farewell.
“During the uncertainty, we were also raised by those who have helped and continue to help our community, whom we want to congratulate, recognize and thank all those who have protected us, provided us with essential services, fed us, prayed for us, kept us informed, helped the less fortunate and volunteered in so many ways to keep us united at a time when we needed the strength to continue to be there and support each other, ”said Riley.
Riley thanked the clergy and the Saugus Sachimes for their contributions to the vigil.
“I hope the families and friends who were there for those who have left us knew that we shared their loss and that we were together in the same boat, and those who have helped our townspeople in so many ways, felt the recognition, appreciation and thanks from our community, ”says Riley.