KANSAS CITY, Mo. – January in Kansas City has become known as the time the Plaza lights turn off and the skyline goes red in support of the Chiefs playoff run.
Wednesday ,the Plaza lights briefly turned back on and the Chiefs, Royals, Sporting KC, Nelson Atkins Museum, Kauffman Center, Marriott and others shined blue for the frontline and displayed messages of gratitude.
It all started after the Chairman of U.S. Engineering here in Kansas City heard on the KU Health Call a couple weeks ago how frontline workers at times were feeling more like the enemy than heroes as COVID-19 has become more political. It’s something Saint Luke’s RN Kristin Sollars has experienced.
“The 2020 beginning there was so much universal support across the country for what we were trying to do the fact we were putting ourselves in harms way. Since then its felt a little bit different,” Sollars said.
So the company put out an open letter for Kansas City to show support Wednesday at 7pm banging pots and pans, honking horns or flashing lights. The letter was signed by 250 business leaders. Country Club Plaza which hadn’t taken its lights down yet, decided it would turn the lights back on during the five minute tribute.
“Very much being in the midst of a pandemic with schools closing, hospitals being at their max and if we can do a small gesture here to be part of this effort it’s something we definitely wanted to participate in,” Country Club Plaza General Manager Kasey Vena said.
Frontline workers being honored also included, firefighters, police and teachers.
“To see that some people acknowledge that we have kind of held the system together, it’s been the people in the classroom that have continued the work of education, it’s really important and really touching,” Jason Roberts, President of Kansas City Federation of Teachers and School-Related Personnel Local 691, said.
“It feels great to know that the community understands what kind of strain we’ve gotten under because right now does feel the worst since the pandemic began,” Sollars said.
Other than just saying thank you, Sollars said the best way to show your appreciation is getting vaccinated, or boosted and wearing a medical grade mask.