By | Rachel Brooks
Staff | Telegraph Local
Above, The New York Times cover appears on CBS broadcast.
The U.S. continues to mourn the amassing loss of coronavirus victims. In that morose spirit, The New York Times dedicated the entire front page of a recent issue to the names of U.S. coronavirus fatalities. This was the front page of the Sunday issue, as reported by Time magazine. The headline reads “U.S. DEATHS NEAR 100,000, AN INCALCULABLE LOSS.” The text then proceeds to fill the margins of news print in a rolling script reminiscent of the Vietnam War Memorial, as said Walter Dellinger, an emeritus law professor for Duke University. Save only that The New York Times made certain to personalize each loss. The names include the age and one personal detail about every lost soul on that long marching list.
The Washington Post reporter Lena Sun was pleased to find her that her mother’s name had been remembered among the ruins of coronavirus.
Some of the names are remembered for their great achievements. For Jose Vitelio Gregorio, age 61, of New City, New York that achievement was celebrated as “helped form and advocacy group for Laitno families.” Some were remembered for the things that they enjoyed such as “travelling through New England.”
Many of the members of this scrolling list were elderly people. They hailed from all races, all walks of life. One was remembered as a Seminole tribe security guard. Yu Lihua, Sun’s mother, was remembered as a “writer who captured the Chinese experience abroad.” Another was remembered as “an excellent cook.” One named Romi Cohn of New York City, age 91, was known as someone who “saved 56 Jewish families from the Gestapo.”
All of the beauty of those American souls have left an impression indelibly scrawled onto the newsprint of history. Yet, the reality of living now has weighed devastatingly on the survivors who remember these honored dead. Robert Benzie, Queen’s Park Bureau Chief for the Toronto Star, made a note of this weight.
“This powerful @nytimes’ front page is even more devastating in real life.
Across the world, the words of tribute ring true. The mass obituary opens with “They were us.” All of these dead were Americans through and through.
The Indian Express also pointed out that, out of the 40 years that the chief creative officer for The New York Times, Tom Bodkin has worked for the paper there has never been an issue without any images on the front. There have been opening pages with only graphics, yes. Never in the last 40 years that Bodkin could recall was there one long block wall of names.
The New York Post pointed out the background of one name on the list that didn’t belong to the coronavirus death toll. Jordan Driver Haynes, aged 27 at the time of his passing, was not killed by coronavirus. He was murdered. His body was found in a vehicle left in a wooded area of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This was reported by an NBC affiliate. The Gazette stated in his obituary that Haynes died on Thursday, March 12, 2020. He was a machinist for General Mills. He was deeply appreciated by his coworkers. The Gazette stated that he will be remembered as a “kind and generous young man with a delightful grin…” Now, he will be remembered to a much wider audience for a completely different reason. His name is memorialized forever among the coronavirus dead of these troubling times. Perhaps it was no accident that he became famous in the end, passing along with them in the wake of these dark times.