A Michigan nurse kicked off a 2021 inauguration event with a moving tribute to those we lost to COVID-19.
On the eve of the 2021 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, Lori Marie Key paid tribute to 400,000 Americans who’ve died from the coronavirus pandemic when she gave her rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
In April, Key went viral when she sang the same song during her shift change at St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital.
She took the mic again when she sang the song at an event organized by Joe Biden’s Presidential Inaugural Committee, held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on Tuesday night. As she performed, 400 lights surrounded the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool to honor American lives lost.
Key made a powerful yet solemn statement about why this moment was so special for her before taking the stage.
“Working as a COVID nurse was heartbreaking,” Key said. “It was heartbreaking for the patients who are 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,” Key said. “It gives me strength during difficult times and I believe it helps heal.”
After Key’s performance, President-elect Joe Biden thanked her for her service as a healthcare hero.
“I mean this from the bottom of my heart, if there are any angels in heaven, they’re all nurses,” Biden said. “We know from our family experience what you do. The courage, the pain you absorb for others. So thank you, thank you.”
Michigan Nurse Honors COVID-19 Victims With Heartfelt Song
Key entered the spotlight when the U.S. started to feel the devastating effects of COVID-19 in the spring.
Assigned to the COVID unit at the Michigan hospital, she decided to sing the hymn for her coworkers during her shift to uplift their spirits.
Thankfully, someone caught the magic moment on camera as Key sang in the hospital hallway while dressed in blue scrubs.
The viral clip showed her serenading a group of her fellow health care workers, many of whom appeared captivated in the background.
“Honestly, I sing at work whether there’s good days or bad days,” Key told The Detroit News. “But in those times, it was bad days.”
Within days, the video went viral, as deaths in Michigan grew well beyond 100 people per day.
According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 24 million people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19. In Wayne County, where Key works, the state has had more than 93,000 cases.