MTA Tribute to Workers Lost to COVID-19

Part of Travels Far, the MTA memorial to transit workers lost to COVID-19 appearing in subway stations and online

Mourning and memorials are important to society and psyche. In general, experts in psychiatry warn that unreleased grief can turn toxic to those who haven’t allowed themselves to mourn a loss. We are still in the midst of the pandemic, and January 20th marked the 1-year anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 reported in the the United States. Previously there were grassroots memorials to those lost to COVID-19 held last Memorial Day and Labor Day. On the night before President Biden’s inaugural he led a ceremony of observance for the 400,000 Americans who died due to COVID-19. The MTA launched their living memorial for transit workers lost to COVID-19 on January 25.

Appearing on digital screens at 107 stations plus Grand Central from January 25–February 7, the MTA’s memorial to their lost workers takes the form of a digital art installation created from 112 portraits sent by family members. This memorial is titled Travels Far after the poem written by former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith.

What you gave—
brief tokens of regard,
soft words uttered
barely heard,
the smile glimpsed
from a passing car.

Through stations
and years, through
the veined chambers
of a stranger’s heart—
what you gave
travels far.

—Tracy K. Smith

Local North Brooklyn subway stations where you can view Travels Far.

This tribute can be viewed at these stations through February 7, 2021. It is also is available to view online here.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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