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WHEREAS, on March 7, 2020, the first positive case of COVID-19 was reported at Fort Belvoir; and
WHEREAS, over the past year, the lives of more than 9,900 Virginians have been to this disease, leaving behind families, friends, colleagues, and neighbors to mourn loved ones lost too soon; and
WHEREAS, Virginians have suffered other losses—lost jobs, lost income, a loss of security, and not knowing what will happen next; and
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyday life, from social distancing and wearing masks, to tuning into church services from parking lots or online, going to school and work remotely, celebrating milestones virtually; and
WHEREAS, much has changed over the past year, but Virginians have continued to show strength and resilience, stepping up to help their fellow citizens in this time of great need; and
WHEREAS, as we commemorate the one year anniversary of the pandemic, we call on all Virginians to pause in memory of those we have lost to the virus; and
WHEREAS, we invite Virginians to light their businesses and homes from sundown to sunrise with an amber light between Sunday, March 14, 2021 until Sunday, March 21, 2021, to pay tribute to those lost during the pandemic; and
WHEREAS, we cannot bring back those lost to the virus, we can honor and uphold their memories; and
WHEREAS, one year into this pandemic, we are seeing an ever-brighter light at the end of a long tunnel, and we can all be hopeful that better days are ahead; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 14, 2021, as a DAY OF PRAYER AND REMEMBERANCE in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.