Celebrate the front line with a virtual second line on May 19

Celebrate the front line with a virtual second line on May 19
19 Thanks will host a Facebook Live event featuring 19 minutes of music and thank you messages from Louisiana musicians and celebrities across the state. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - In Louisiana, there’s no better way to thank those on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic than with a second line.

“[On Tuesday, May 19] we will have a virtual second line to thank our front line and the music behind that second line will be the states unofficial anthem, ‘When the Saints go Marching in,’" said Deborah Sternberg, founder of 19 Thanks.

The idea all started back in April.

“I was staying home like so many of us and thinking about how data-driven the conversation around COVID-19 is,“ she said, “how many people have been infected by the virus, how many people have lost their lives by COVID-19, and wondering if we could turn COVID-19 on its head a bit and dedicate the 19th of every month at 1900 hours, or 7:00 p.m., for a collective Louisiana thank you to all essential workers who’ve helped Louisiana and continue to help Louisiana march on and move forward through this pandemic.”

And thus 19 Thanks was launched.

“The idea is, how do we bring Louisiana together and thank our front line and our front line is obviously those in the hospitals, but it’s also the sanitation workers and the Postal workers and the hospitality industry,” said Sternberg, who is a Baton Rouge-native.

“It’s an exhaustive list,” added Kelly Hurtado, partner in the project. “We tried to make sure everybody was covered in the thank you, but it’s very hard to make sure you have everyone included.”

The creative force behind the second line is Red Six Media.

“They said, let’s create a second line to thank our front line because everyone in Louisiana knows what a second line is,” said Sternberg.

Over thirty musicians responded to the call-to-action and contributed a video performance for the official virtual second line.

“We’ve seen people play Zydeco, country, Jazz – it’s all kinds of different genres, and when it’s melded together, it’s really what Louisiana culture is all about,” said Hurtado.

No matter the genre, the song will be the same.

“It is the essential workers who are the Saints here, so that’s our mantra," Hurtado said.

Give your thanks to the true saints on May 19 at 7 p.m. You’re encouraged to share your message by using #19thanks.

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