Memorial ‘cemetery’ honors lives lost to pandemic

During the past several months, hundreds of thousands of families across the nation have had a loved one taken by the coronavirus, yet there has been no national reckoning or memorial to acknowledge these tragic losses. With the COVID-19 death toll in Florida nearing 16,000, including more than 3,500 lives lost in Miami-Dade County, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson has created a memorial cemetery to honor the dead in her district.

Hundreds of coroplast tombstones were erected at Simonoff Park in Liberty City on Oct. 12 to represent souls lost to the pandemic. The following day, dozens of Miami residents visited the memorial to collectively grieve for loved ones who succumbed to the deadly virus.

“We chose Liberty City for the memorial cemetery because this pandemic has exposed inequities that make Black people and other people of color more vulnerable to COVID-19, many of whom are frontline workers who do not have the luxury of working from home,” said Wilson. “We want to honor the people we’ve lost. The loved ones who won’t be at the dinner table tonight or home for the upcoming holidays.”

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