The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will be illuminated with blue this week, as part of the national “Light it Blue” campaign to show support for frontline healthcare workers. The light display, which coincides with National Nurses Week, is a joint effort of the Basilica and The Catholic University of America intended to pay tribute to doctors, nurses, and frontline workers who have put their lives at risk to protect others during the coronavirus pandemic.
Catholic University President John Garvey said the light display is a way for both the University community and the local Catholic church to show solidarity and support for those working in healthcare during the ongoing pandemic.
Catholic University, which is home to the Conway School of Nursing and National Catholic School of Social Service, has numerous faculty, students, and alumni who are working as nurses, social workers, and clinical lab technicians, among other roles. The University has responded to the pandemic by providing donations of personal protective equipment to area hospitals and making virus-related research available for free for scientists working to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
“I am happy to be able to honor our frontline healthcare workers with the Light It Blue tribute,” said President Garvey. “Light is exactly what our nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals have been for us during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are indebted to the work, expertise, care, and generosity of all those who are putting their lives on the line to make sure we are safe, including many students and alumni of our Conway School of Nursing. May God keep you all safe and healthy throughout this crisis.”
Monsignor Walter Rossi, rector of the National Shrine, said, “The display is intended to shed light in this moment of COVID-19 darkness as well as serve as a tangible sign of gratitude to health care workers and first responders who have been a light to so many during these unsettling days.”
The Basilica is located adjacent to the Catholic University campus in Northeast, D.C. The light display is being offered with the generous support and coordination of Atmosphere Lighting, a local business based in Silver Spring, Md. The display will be viewable every evening from dusk to 11:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 5, to Tuesday, May 12.