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Detroit to honor those who lost their lives to COVID-19 with memorial on Belle Isle

Photos can be submitted until July 31

Memorial to honor Detroit COVID-19 victims to be built on Belle Isle
Memorial to honor Detroit COVID-19 victims to be built on Belle Isle

DETROIT – As of Monday, officials in Michigan have reported a total of 78,507 coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and 6,154 deaths

There are plans for a memorial to be set up on Belle Isle to honor those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. Enlarged four by four photos will be spread out across the island, but time is running out to submit your loved one’s photo.

July 27, 2020 -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 78,507; Death toll now at 6,154

The memorial will be in place on Aug. 31 through Memorial Day. Detroit’s Director of Arts and Culture, Rochelle Riley, said each photo will be as meaningful and sacred as a headstone. A powerful reminder of how much we’ve lost during the pandemic.

Biba Adams lost their mother to COVID-19, “I think it’s very appropriate and a beautiful and special way to honor so many Detroiter’s who were lost to this virus.”

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Her mother died in April. She submitted a photo of her mother for the tribute.

“We didn’t get to do a dream cruise this year, but we can do this spirit cruise so that families have a chance to say one final goodbye,” Riley said.

Riley said she hopes to have more than 1,000 enlarged photos of victims, which will be placed six feet apart across the island.

“We’ve lost some of our best and brightest and most believed. So that this is a chance to honor not just them, but the spirit of the folks who have been doing this right," she said.

READ: Michigan veteran leaves hospital after 10-week battle with COVID-19

For loved ones who couldn’t have a funeral and mourn with friends and family, the memorial is deeply personal.

“My mother was very involved in her church,” Adams said. “There’s just so much that would have been different and honoring her life under normal circumstances.”

Riley said seeing hundreds of pictures of lives lost will be a poignant symbol of the fight we’re up against. Photos must be submitted by Friday.

Click here to make a submission


About the Author:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism