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Remembering 5 people lost to the coronavirus

As another difficult week for our country comes to a close, we want to take the time to honor a few of the more than 180,000 people in the U.S. who have lost their lives to the coronavirus. Judy Woodruff shares the stories of five individuals.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    As another difficult week for our country comes to a close, we want to take the time to honor just some of the more than 180,000 people here who have lost their lives to the coronavirus.

    Nelson Henry Jr. of Philadelphia fought for more than 70 years to get his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army. The World War II veteran was one of many Black soldiers given a less-than-honorable and discriminatory blue discharge, which made it harder to get certain jobs and G.I. benefits. Nelson's son eventually found lawyers to take up the case, and, in 2019, just a year before his death at 96, he was granted an upgrade by the Army. He called it a miracle.

    Education was huge for Lucille Anderson. Born in Minneapolis, she worked multiple jobs to ensure her kids had every opportunity. When her son had doubts about applying to Harvard, she scolded him: "Andersons never quit. It's like a race. Even if you fall down, you get up and finish the race."

    Lucille followed her son to the East Coast, finished her own degree, and became a social worker and a probation officer. She always emphasized how important children were to society, her son said. Lucille Anderson was 94 years old when she died in Minnesota.

    In 1984, Carmen Williamson became the first Black boxing referee and judge at the Olympics. Carmen, who spent most of his life in Toledo, Ohio, was a top amateur boxer in the 1940s and '50s. He would go on to travel the world, teaching the sport to young people in countries that white trainers would rarely visit.

    Carmen's daughter said the 94-year-old wanted to grab everything he possibly could, and never told himself no.

    Seventy-two-year-old Liz Mar opened the Hawaiian restaurant Kona Kitchen in Seattle 18 years ago with her daughter and son-in-law. She was a warm face that everyone knew and loved, her daughter said. She made customers feel like part of the family. They would call her auntie or grandma.

    Liz came to the U.S. from Fiji as a teenager. Her daughter described her as selfless and said she'd do anything for her three children and seven grandchildren.

    Lennie LeBlanc was 45 years old. He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, with cerebral palsy. Lennie could never walk or talk, but his mom said he was always a happy child. Lennie would laugh a deep belly laugh, sometimes for no reason. He lived most of his life in a nursing home, where his caregivers adored him. He loved music and often spent time with his family.

    As of tonight, the "NewsHour" has marked 100 Americans whose lives we have lost to the coronavirus. That's just over the last 20 weeks.

    We want to thank their families for the stories they have shared. Our hearts go out to them and to all those who've lost loved ones in this pandemic.

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