Lori Marie Key, a Michigan nurse who went viral after singing “Amazing Grace” to her coworkers as the coronavirus pandemic first set in at her hospital, was present at the Covid-19 national memorial ceremony to sing the hymn again prior to Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“It is an honour to be here with you and President-elect Biden,” Key said after being introduced by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
“Working as a Covid nurse was heartbreaking. It was heartbreaking for the patients who were sick, it was heartbreaking for the families who couldn’t be there with them, and it was heartbreaking for those caring for them. But when I’m at work, I sing. It gives me strength during difficult times, and I believe it helps heal.”
Key, 29, is a registered nurse who works at St Mary Mercy hospital in Livonia, Michigan.
“I am lost for words right now,” she wrote on Facebook prior to the ceremony. “Can’t believe I’m here. What an adventure and dream. All glory to God!”
On Tuesday it was reported that 400,000 Americans had died of Covid-19. Paying tribute to those who had passed, the memorial ceremony featured 400 lights turned on around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
President-elect Biden made a few brief remarks, stating that “to heal, we must remember”.
Harris also gave a few remarks, stating: “Tonight, we grieve and begin healing together. Though we may be physically separated, we the American people are united in spirit.”
Speaking to the Detroit News after her video went viral back in April, Key said, “When I’m up there singing, I’m really singing on behalf of how every health care worker is feeling everywhere. We’re all looking for hope, you know? Something to kind of get us out of this negative mindset.
“‘Amazing Grace’ helps give you encouragement,” she continued. “Even though we’re having all of these terrible events, we just have to remember that with God, everything is possible, and that his grace is what keeps us. We just got to remain hopeful.”