A moving memorial in Washington, D.C., is honoring the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to COVID-19 in the U.S.
The “In America: Remember” art installation, created by Maryland artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, includes more than 660,000 white flags planted across the National Mall.
Each flag represents a person who died from COVID-19. Many of those who have lost a loved one have personalized their flag with handwritten tributes.
People unable to visit the National Mall in person can visit the “In America” website to write a virtual message, which will then be handwritten on an actual flag by a volunteer and planted at the memorial.
A map on the installation’s website also allows you to click on individual flags in the memorial and see the messages handwritten on each.
“In a traditional sense, this art can be interpreted as a memorial. In scientific terms, it is large scale data visualization. Experienced in totality, it will be the physical manifestation of empathy,” Firstenberg said in a statement.
This is the second “In America” memorial commemorating lives lost during the pandemic. In October 2020, Firstenberg installed more than 260,000 white flags across four acres at RFK Stadium in Washington to represent the number of lives lost.
That exhibition “ran out of space due to the mounting toll,” organizers said in a statement.
As of today, more than 670,000 people in the U.S. have died after contracting the coronavirus, according to The New York Times.
The “In America: Remember” art installation opened on Sept. 17 and will be open for public participation until Oct. 3.