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Suffolk County Marks One-Year COVID Anniversary With Memorial

Suffolk County Sheriff Erroll Toulon and officers stand with the family of Keith Allison, a 25-year veteran of the Sheriff's office who died from COVID-19 in December.
WSHU Public Radio
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Suffolk County Sheriff Erroll Toulon and officers stand with the family of Keith Allison, a 25-year veteran of the Sheriff's office who died from COVID-19 in December.

Monday marks the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed coronavirus case in New York. A memorial is on display outside of Suffolk County administrative buildings throughout the month of March.

It’s to honor the over 3,000 residents who have died and those 155,000 who were sickened in the county.

Legislator Tom Cilmi said they will not be forgotten.

“Were they sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, sisters, brothers: they will be in our hearts for sure,” Cilmi said. “And hopefully our collective prayers will serve as some solace to their families.

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The family of the late Suffolk Corrections Investigator Sergeant Keith Allison: his wife, Brenda, his children, Alicia and Darius, and his granddaughter Ava.

Suffolk Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. remembered Corrections Investigator Sergeant Keith Allison. The 25-year veteran died in December.

“Keith was, probably, not only just a friend of mine but a person who was always smiling, always helpful, and always energetic and passionate about his job. We in the sheriff’s office will never forget Keith’s sacrifice. We will never forget,” Toulon said.

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Blue ribbons with the names of Suffolk County residents who died of COVID-19.

A Boy Scout troop set up the memorials in Smithtown and a second display outside county offices in Riverhead.

Anyone who has lost a Suffolk resident to COVID-19 can submit their loved one’s name to be included in the memorial online. The website also provides the option to share a photo and a memory about the person.

A blue ribbon with their name will be tied to the memorial.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.