Coronavirus victims remembered at Covid Memorial Wall ceremony

Coronavirus victims remembered at Covid Memorial Wall ceremony

Hundreds of people have gathered to remember coronavirus victims on the third anniversary of the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall.

The group walked along the wall on the south bank of the Thames between Westminster Bridge and Lambeth Bridge, stopping at each panel to lay flowers, read a poem and observe a minute’s silence in honour of those represented by the hearts and photos.

Some members of the group became emotional and hugged each other during the event.

Others carried pictures of loved ones who they have lost or wore T-shirts with their images on.

The mural, which is opposite the Houses of Parliament, is made up of more than 220,000 hand-drawn hearts which were individually painted by bereaved family members in 2021.

As flowers were laid by the first panel, Fran Hall, one of the Covid Memorial Wall volunteers, said: “We all know how much this means to everyone and today is a very special day because it is three years ago that the very first heart was painted on this wall.”

She added that they were there to remember those who had died from Covid.

After the walk, 200 flowers were thrown into the River Thames at 3pm in memory of those who died from Covid.

Lorelei King, another Covid Memorial Wall volunteer, lost her husband Vincent Marzello, 72, after he contracted Covid early in the pandemic.

The 70-year-old said: “It’s very important that the wall remains where it is because of what it means to so many people.

People take part in the memorial service
People take part in the memorial service (Lucy North/PA)

“Today we have quotes along the wall, they just say what the wall means to people.

“I was talking to a woman who has no grave for her husband and so she comes here.”

Lynn Jones travelled from Stoke-on-Trent to volunteer at the wall after her husband Gareth died in March 2021.

The 71-year-old said she felt a connection with the other bereaved families when she saw her husband’s name on the wall.

She said: “I’m not on my own, all of these other people feel the same.

“There’s nowhere else to go if you’ve had somebody die in these horrific circumstances, there’s nowhere else you meet other people, that’s the draw of the wall.”