Omaha community members release doves to commemorate lives lost from COVID-19

An Omaha church honors those who died from COVID with a dove release
Published: May. 28, 2023 at 11:32 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It was an emotional weekend for many at Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, as pastor Rev. Portia Cavitt read the names of more than a dozen who died during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Families are still grieving and to know our loved ones have gone on, but know that we can still lift them up,” Cavitt said.

Along with the reading, community members released white doves that Cavitt said symbolized peace and hope.

“COVID taught us that we need to make sure that we are always available and ready to share and to help,” Cavitt said.

According to the CDC, over 5,068 Nebraskans have died from COVID-19.

Opal Cherry was one of many present at the dove release and public gathering. She unfortunately lost her uncle Ted Cherry in 2020.

“It was a major loss for our family and he’s really missed a lot,” Cherry said.

Her uncle inspired Cherry to help out the community. That is why she was one of several members that put together the church’s annual block party to give resources, food, and household items to those who need it.

“Need us to be present in their lives,” Cherry said. “That inspires them to live the best lives they can as they get older.”