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Local families of COVID victims reflect while the nation pauses to remember 400K dead

Posted at 10:12 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 23:12:12-05

MILWAUKEE — The son of the first person to die from the coronavirus in Milwaukee County says he hopes memorials like those in D.C and across the nation Tuesday continue.

Elvaughn Riley says “a lot of great lives are lost… to COVID. So I mean as people. We need to do better and keep remembering those who pass from this.”

Lawrence Riley was Elvaughn’s dad. He died from COVID complications in March of 2020. Since then nearly 1,000 more people have died in Milwaukee County, 5,512 in the state and 400,000 nationwide. The elder Riley was a Vietnam Vet and former Milwaukee Firefighter. He died just days after being admitted to the hospital and later diagnosed with the virus.

While he says every day that passes since his father’s death he hopes for some way out of this pandemic, and sees hope in what’s ahead.

“Hopefully we can find a light at the end of the tunnel for all with these new beginnings, that we have a new year, new leadership, new beginnings, you know, let's make sure, let's save lives. Let’s make 2021 count. 2020 was a hell of a bad year” said Elvaughn.

Buildings across Milwaukee like City Hall, the Northwestern Mutual tower, US Bank Building, and Discovery World were lit in amber to take part in the remembrance ceremony in Washington, D.C.

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