“This mural will be a permanent reminder of a man who has stood on the front lines to fight an invisible enemy,” said Eric Jones, Detroit Fire Marshal.
At the start of the pandemic, Captain Williams was one of the first residents of Detroit to die from the virus. He completed his last shift on March 22, 2020.
“On March 24, 2020, he got up at 3 a.m. and said ‘I feel like I’m going downstairs with something, I’m going to go to the guest room’,” recalls the wife of Williams, Shanita Williams. “That something was COVID-19, and two weeks later it was gone. “
His family came to the station on Sunday, seeing the new mural for the first time, which is now a permanent reminder of how much their hero was loved.
“It’s overwhelming, it’s beautiful,” said Williams. “The perfect way to remember someone. “
The mural also depicts other Detroit residents, such as bus driver Jason Hargrove, who died in April 2020 after begging passengers on Facebook to take the virus seriously. It also shows Skylar Herbert, 5, who died of complications from COVID.
“My baby has always shone, so I know whenever we have something to do to honor her, she’s always there because the sun is always shining,” Skylar’s mother said.
The mural also recalls Detroit Police Captain Jonathan Parnell.
All together, they make up this mural created to remember all those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.
“It means he won’t be forgotten and that’s all I can ask for,” said Williams.
The artist said it took about a month to create this fresco and it should last at least 25 years.