Community leaders join in sorrow and hope

The Community COVID Memorial Wall of Hope will remain in place at First Responders Park in El Centro through the end of May. Members of the public are invited to add their own tributes. PHOTO TOM BODUS

EL CENTRO -- Representatives of every city and county government gathered Saturday morning at First Responders Park on Waterman Avenue to share in mourning, comfort and hope for the future.

Community leaders join in sorrow and hope

El Centro police and fire department explorers file in Saturday morning to attend the Community COVID Memorial Ceremony at First Responders Park. PHOTO TOM BODUS

The idea for Community COVID Memorial Ceremony was originally conceived by El Centro Mayor Cheryl Viegas-Walker. She and city council members from Brawley, Calexico, Calipatria, Holtville, Imperial and Westmorland, as well as County Supervisor Ray Castillo, reflected on the difficulties and opportunities they and their communities have experienced over the past year.

Community leaders join in sorrow and hope

Holtville Mayor Mike Goodsell, who lost his brother, Rodney, to COVID in December, speaks at Saturday’s Community COVID Memorial Ceremony at First Responders Park in El Centro. PHOTO TOM BODUS

Community leaders join in sorrow and hope

Imperial Mayor Karin Eugenio (right) and El Centro Mayor Cheryl Viegas-Walker embrace during Saturday’s Community COVID Memorial Ceremony at First Responders Park in El Centro. PHOTO TOM BODUS

Community leaders join in sorrow and hope

FROM LEFT: Brawley City Councilman Ramon Castro, Calexico Mayor Rosie Fernandez, Calipatria Mayor Pro Tem Javier Amezcua, Holtville Mayor Mike Goodsell, County Supervisor Ray Castillo, Imperial Mayor Karin Eugenio, Calexico Mayor Pro Tem Javier Moreno and El Centro Mayor Cheryl Viegas-Walker at Saturday’s Community COVID Memorial Ceremony at First Responder’s Park. NOT PICTURED: Westmorland Mayor Ana Beltran.

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