First Lady and Gov. Pritzker Honor Illinoisans Lost to COVID-19 at the People’s House
SPRINGFIELD, IL (STL.News) First Lady MK Pritzker and Governor JB Pritzker announced that beginning, the State of Illinois will host a memorial at the Governor’s Executive Mansion to commemorate the lives lost to COVID-19.
March 16, 2021, signifies one year since the first known COVID-19 death in Illinois. To memorialize this painful milestone and the tragedy of the last year, the First Lady commissioned an installation to honor to the Illinoisans who have died from COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. Illinoisans are invited to visit the installation and pay tribute to their loved ones by tying a ribbon that is provided on site at the perimeter of the installation.
“This memorial offers all of our fellow Illinoisans a space to mourn our losses, individual and collective, in the name of healing,” said First Lady MK Pritzker and Governor JB Pritzker. “Together, one year into this pandemic, we honor those we’ve lost, as well as all the loved ones they left behind. It is through remembrance that we will move forward as one Illinois, committed to a shared vision of prosperity and hope. May the memories of those we’ve lost guide the way and be a blessing.”
Illinois has lost more than 23,000 lives in this pandemic, including both confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths as defined by the Centers for Disease Control. To commemorate this shared loss, the installation includes 102 wings representing Illinois’ 102 counties that together hold more than 5,500 ribbons, each representing approximately four Illinoisans who tragically lost their life to this virus. The ribbons are illuminated by glowing spheres that serve a twofold purpose: To remember the victims of the pandemic, while also representing the permanence of light in the darkest of times.
The memorial will be on display in the state’s capital city for one month, spanning from March 16, 2021, until April 17, 2021. The conclusion of the exhibit marks one year since Governor Pritzker directed all flags to be lowered to half-staff on all public buildings and grounds to honor those who lost their lives to COVID-19. Following the exhibit and the one-year anniversary of the lowered flags, Governor Pritzker will direct the flags to be returned to full staff on April 17.