Cherokee Nation Hosts Candlelight Memorial to Honor Citizens Lost to Covid-19
March 24, 2021
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - Last Thursday, March 18, marked the one-year anniversary of the loss of the first Cherokee citizen and Oklahoman, Merle Dry, who passed away from Covid-19.
To mark the anniversary and show honor to Dry and the additional 106 Cherokee citizens lost to the deadly coronavirus, the Cherokee Nation held a candlelight memorial at the tribe's W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah, Okla.
"Today, our obligation is to give each of these lives lost even more meaning. In their names, let us keep each other safe. In their names, let's have each other's back," Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. said. "Let's live each day to the fullest. In their names, let us embrace each other. In mourning those who have left us, we remain mindful of how to beat the COVID-19 virus. That means getting the vaccine, wearing a mask in large gatherings, and following the latest public health recommendations. Each life lost to COVID-19 is a deep loss, and each life lost was meaningful. We can give even deeper meaning to those we lost by working together, in their memory, to keep each other safe and keep our communities strong."