New York City Fire Museum honors frontline workers from COVID-19 pandemic

For over a month Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell serenaded the streets of Manhattan from the window of his Upper West Side apartment to honor frontline workers who were fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. The cause, meaningful to the 62-year-old as he was diagnosed with coronavirus in late March but has since recovered. 

On Thursday he sang the same song “The Impossible Dream” - this time from the New York City Fire Museum where officials unveiled plans for a new exhibition - “Unmasking our Heroes”.

“It allows me to further honor the men, women, emergency service workers, the firefighter department, everyone who kept the city going during this time,” Mitchell said.


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Before the pandemic swept in, America's biggest, loudest city often lived up to its own hype. Then the coronavirus all but shut it down, claiming lives from the Bronx to the Battery and beyond. Now the hush, whether at midnight or midday, is broken mostly by the wail of ambulances.

And to allow others to honor the first responders, museum officials are acknowledging the heroes who continue to put themselves in harms way to save the lives of others.

“It’s our mission and responsibility at the Fire Museum to start documenting the FDNY and its first responders at such a historic event,” said Gary Urbanowicz, executive director with the New York Fire Museum

They’re asking the public to share artifacts and messages of gratitude for paramedics, EMTs and first responders.  

“There are very important moments in the history of the Department, one of them started back in mid-March 2020 when suddenly our city was hit with this pandemic,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

The museum opened submissions to New Yorkers and down the road plans to welcome entries from across the country. People can submit stories or a simple “thank you” through the website at

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