This July 4th holiday, Philadelphia honored front-line workers working to fight the coronavirus pandemic with two of its highest honors: The Magis Award given every July 4 and their own mural.
Magis is the Latin word for "the greater universal good" and refers to doing more for others. This summer, there's no question that nurses, grocery store clerks, sanitation workers, doctors, delivery workers and first responders have done that, said Mayor Jim Kenney on Saturday.
"You were essential to helping slow down the virus, keeping us healthy, safe and comforted during an unsettling time," he said.
Kenney unveiled a new mural honoring those who have fought coronavirus that will be created by Mural Arts Philadelphia.
Wawa Welcome America
16 days of safe, responsible, in-person celebration of Freedom and Liberty | June 19 – July 4, 2021
He also thanked those who have protested peacefully for an end to racism, though the city has apologized for spraying protesters with tear gas and pepper spray.
"I want to make it clear, Black lives matter in Philadelphia," Kenney said. "And I am here to help ensure freedom and prosperity for all our residents."
The Magis Award has gone in the past to the class of Edison High School that lost more students than any other school to the Vietnam war, to trans activist Giana Graves, and former Eagle Connor Barwin for building recreational sites for young people.