Jul 31, 2021 - Health

Memorials honoring COVID-19 deaths emerge in states nationwide

Memorials hang from the front gate of Greenwood Cemetery  o remember and celebrate the lives of those killed by the Covid-19 pandemic on June 08, 2021 in New York City.

Memorials hang from the front gate of Greenwood Cemetery to remember the lives lost to COVID-19 on June 08, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Memorials to honor the more than 600,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus are emerging in states around the country, but a national memorial may be far off, AP reports.

The big picture: State memorials can more easily capture the nuances of remembering the government's response to the pandemic — which is intertwined with remembering the lives lost, according to James Young, founding director of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Institute for Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies.

  • "We remember not just the victims, but we end up remembering kind of the U.S. administration’s indifference or even neglect, malignant neglect, of the disease itself, much less the victims,” Young told AP.
  • A bill to start the process of erecting a national COVID-19 memorial died in Congress last year, per AP.

Between the lines: In Ohio, native trees that can live for 400 years have been planted to remember the lives lost to the pandemic, per AP.

  • "Maybe someone will come here and will talk about their grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother who went through the pandemic," said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R).
  • In Washington, D.C., 250,000 white flags were placed at RFK stadium in honor of deaths from the virus.
  • And a garden of hand-sculpted flowers popped up in Florida.

Go deeper: How we'll memorialize COVID

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