In Memoriam

Memorial Day: With Deep Gratitude & Sorrow for our Sons, Daughters, Mothers, Fathers, Wives, Husbands, Brothers & Sisters Who Have Given Their Lives on Old & New Fields of Battle

screen shot courtesy of Alicia Keyes "Good Job" video.
Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

Usually, on Memorial Day we honor those men and women who have given their lives for the rest of us on the field of battle, in the classic understanding of that phrase.

But on this Memorial Day of 2020, WitnessLA also honors the brave doctors, nurses, and the other health workers who have died from their exposure to COVID-19, or its after-effects, while working to save the lives of others.

Their courage humbles us all.

Below you’ll find a sample of the photos gathered in “Lost on the Frontline,” a collaboration between The Guardian and Kaiser Health News that aims to document the lives of U.S. health care workers who have died of COVID-19, and to deconstruct why so many have fallen and continue to fall victim to this deadly virus.

By the staff of Kaiser Health News and of the Guardian from their series “Lost on the Frontline.

And here’s a gorgeous song from Alicia Keys recently dedicated to all those healthcare workers and so many others, such law enforcement, social workers, and more, who are also on the front lines, all of whom have made such a critical difference to the rest of us during this strange and challenging time.

You are our heroes.

Stay safe, everybody.


  • Much as I grieve for them, and the many “law enforcement professionals” that you have neglected to mention, who have lost their lives, no surprise, maybe it would be more appropriate to have written about honoring them at some other time in some other way.
    I have lost family to war and have family in the health care field I worry about daily. I have more than just me in my family in law enforcement and close friends that are with fire and emt’s, but unlike you I grieve for all the good lives lost in this attack on our nation. I don’t pick and choose.
    Memorial Day is a sacred day not meant to be shared with those who died other than in actual battle, not fighting a disease.
    But, since “you” decided it was time to share a sacred holiday, over 40 NYPD officers have died from Covid, Think one of their pictures might have been appropriate for this post, a little mention of their sacrifice.

  • While I too appreciate the loss made of those mentioned, the premise (and especially the timing) for your article is ridiculous. I have lost members of my family during war and in conflicts while serving in the military. In my opinion, your article, much like the flying of our nation’s flag subsequent to recent tragic events, having nothing to do with the loss of someone who lays his/her life on the line, is disrespectful to the memory for whom it was intended.
    Perhaps, you all can speak with some folks in the generation ahead of you and learn of the due respect and appreciation felt by those who truly appreciate and understand the sacrifices made for you to publish such an article at this time. You not only trivialize the sacrifices made, you probably in all likelihood, would be upsetting those who you do mention here if they could somehow comment about it.

    Nobody would dare compare the hundreds of thousands of Spanish Flu victims to the sacrifices being made by soldiers during WWI.

    For the life of me, I cannot figure out WTF goes through your minds and those like you oftentimes.

  • Editor’s Note:

    Dear “Fife,”

    At your suggestion, we have now called out law enforcement professionals and others in the last paragraph about the Alicia Keyes song that talks about other frontline people, as they all deserve our appreciation and gratitude.

    As for EMTs and firefighters, they are included in the “Lost on the Frontline,” project we featured today, and two EMTs are pictured in the photos above.

    Memorial Day is a sacred time for all of us to honor those who have died on the field of battle. And every year at WLA we consider it our obligation and privilege to do exactly that. Thus we work to find new ways to convey this gratitude that is truly beyond measure or adequate expression.

    Yet, in this one strange and extraordinary year, we elected to expand that gratitude to another field of battle.

    We stand by our choice.


  • Expression of gratitude is great.

    Thanks for letting me have my choice to express to you that your choice to do it today is misguided and unfortunate, in my opinion. Maybe to recognize them next weekend (the whole weekend) would have been more prudent.

  • Good GOD….I have an idea. Why not celebrate Memorial day as it was intended. Doesn’t our military deserve it?:

    “Memorial Day (previously, but now seldom, called Decoration Day[1]) is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the MILITARY PERSONNEL who had died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.[2] The holiday is now observed on the last Monday of May, having been observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.[3]”

    First responders can have their OWN day…..

    And, Fife, did you really think WLA would pay tribute to fallen police? Unfortunately, we’re viewed, not as sheepdogs protecting the herd, but as mad dogs who attack the sheep because…..wolves don’t exist.

  • Gentlemen, you really have to stop this hero worship. Most of those you speak of, like most officers, are not heroes. Many were boys who would would rather not have gone to war, to Vietnam, to Iraq, to Afghanistan, etc. Many, if not most, had no idea where they were going or why, and probably could not pronounce, let alone spell, the country they were going to. they were cannon fodder, and they were sacrificed for us. They did not want to die, and did not die, for us. That hardly a hero makes. A regular boy or girl, but not a hero. These wars are mainly old white man sending young man on a pissing contest they would not dare attend. You devalue the idea of the Hero when you make everyone a hero, especially people like you who are merely doing a job. Go catch a criminal on your day off without a badge and back up and maybe you can give yourself that title.

    One of you mentioned that 40 LEO have died of Covid in NY. So much for it being a dangerous job when a virus kills more cops than the criminals do. If you take out those that died from complications due to, or as a result of, the world trade center coming down, I would venture to say that’s more than have died by bullet in the last 50 years. You should be more pissed at the yokels without a mask than at Celeste.

    And, Fifi, probably as many or more soldiers died of the Spanish Flu in WWI than did in combat. Do you count those? These days, if there are heroic acts, they are those of the grocery clerk, the nurse, the janitor keeping the hospital clean. I would venture to say they are regular folk doing their job, but perhaps if you are going to throw the word Hero around it may be more appropriate for you to throw it at them before yourself. Stop it.

  • Cf, (Greg) why don’t you show us a little courage and weigh in in a controversial topic. It’s about a country that’s not even that hard too spell, Israel. I realize it involves some of your “brethren” as you so often put it, not just the usual poor American kids who you love to sneer at. Pretty nasty business over there no? Where does a social justice guy like you stand on BDS with Israel? Im guessing you won’t answer, how about it hero?

  • “…Why don’t you show us a little courage and weigh in on a controversial topic. It’s about a country not even that hard to spell, Israel.”

    Why in God’s name would he want to do that when it all can be Googled. Even the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a link at the top of the first page that can be accessed–straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

    Straight from the horse’s mouth.

  • I’m not talking about the birth of Israel, I’m talking about what’s going on now, and for the last 70 years. Maybe you’re confused because it’s not usually featured on US cable tv. Perhaps you can google it and catch up with current events.

    I noticed you had something to say about the Ahmaud Arbery case. Why? You know you could have just googled it. I’m sure the Brunswick police department had put out a press release, you know, straight from the horses mouth. ( see that was sarcasm, just as you wouldn’t necessarily believe a police department’s press release regarding the shooting of a black man, a country’s ministry of foreign affairs might not be entirely honest in discussing their own apartheid state)

  • It’s the act of courage that makes the hero Can’t Function, no matter what circumstances placed one in the situation that caused them to take that action. You’re a coward that would never step forward into battle, you have no balls so you’d never have to worry about injury or death, that’s easy enough to see. Your fascination with what officers look like is due to your own obvious slovenly appearance or fem type mannerisms you attempt to hide with your weak attempts to shit talk here.
    You’re not fooling anyone Can’t Function. You’re jealous of actual men because you can’t pull off being one. Old lady probably dumped you, no job, living with whatever relative will have your pathetic ass and they all just put up with you. I get it, life sucks, so you play on-line and act, it’s all you got.
    You;re a pitiful “little man”, if you even are a man. Could be a woman trying to pull off some scam, wouldn’t be a surprise with your over the top non-stop parade of hate. Sad.

  • ol’ cf has had several wives, all have left him. Pathetic little man, good profiling on your part.

  • Fifi, Can’t Function? Really? Is that the best you can do? Leave it to Madame Kong, she is probably the more creative one of the bunch, although a bit coy and shy since she is not willing to stop by and say hi.

    Lady Kong, what is you fixation with Israel? Are you one of those crazy Christians that think the Jesus is coming back and we need the Jews for the second coming? Regarding wives, only 2. As Woody would say, the heart wants what the heat wants and sometimes we make mistakes. So, only 2 wives. You an I are law abiding citizens, but if we go to prison, you’ll be number 3. This is California after all. Luv, George.

  • Dont take Memorial Day away from the men and women that died for our country to keep our freedom. Yes, people have died from this virus (just like the common flu every year) and I do pray for their families. But give the victims of this virus their own day. Not Memorial Day.

  • Cf, didn’t your neighbors tell you? I was by your place the other day, nice folks, when I mentioned you they just rolled their eyes. Kind of like a neighborhood inside joke I guess.

    Greg, regarding Israel, I just want to know what a social justice type, such as yourself, feels about the killing of Palestinians. Why are you deflecting your rage against Christians? Christians aren’t persecuting Palestinians (other than supporting Israel) or involved in the BDS Israel movement. Don’t be coy, let us know where you stand.

    Finally, Greg, you really shouldn’t be threatening anyone with prison rape. A little guy like you wouldn’t fare too well in there. It’s a good thing I don’t like to joke about what they do in there with small men, such as yourself.

  • Editor’s Note:

    Okay, guys, we’re done with prison rape jokes of any kind.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


  • Celeste,

    My apologies. It was, in the words of our accomplished First Lady and paragon of the good immigrant, Melania Trump, merely “locker talk.”

    Madame Kong,

    I apologize if you felt threaten. Don’t. It was all “locker talk” and in jest. I would hate for you to barge into my home under the pretext that you felt threatened. No doubt then you will mistaken my iPhone for a gun and bring the average IQ of those that comment on this site down from around 80 to 79.

  • Naw cf, you’re just a little guy who probably got picked on too much. Your not threatening anyone. Like Celeste, I never thought prison rape was funny either, the people who do always seem like goofy, nerdy, knuckleheads who have no idea what they’re talking about anyways.

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