A Michigan nurse whose informal performance of “Amazing Grace” at a local hospital became an online sensation last year will sing at a memorial for those who have died from COVID-19 on Tuesday (Jan. 19), ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Lori Marie Key, 29, of Belleville, Michigan is set to sing “Amazing Grace” as part of the tribute ceremony to be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool. Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, who will deliver the Invocation, while gospel singer Yolanda Adams will sing “Hallelujah.”
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According to the Detroit News, Key worked in a COVID-19 unit St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Mich., during a peak of the pandemic last April. A colleague asked her to sing during a shift change, and a video captured on a person’s phone went viral online.
“Honestly, I sing at work whether there’s good days or bad days,” Key said. “But in those times, it was bad days.”
However, when she saw the tearful reaction to her performance, she said, “It had a very positive impact on my work family.”
Two weeks ago, Key was contacted about singing at the memorial, which is scheduled to be Biden’s first stop upon arriving in Washington on Tuesday. The memorial is designed with 400 lights around the reflecting pool to honor the 400,000 American lives lost to the pandemic.
“When I’m up there singing, I’m really singing on behalf of how every health care worker is feeling everywhere,” Key said. “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. 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.”
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