Hundreds of Detroit-area residents lost to the coronavirus pandemic were honored on August 31, during a day-long memorial with processions through Belle Isle Park.
Families of loved ones lost to the virus were invited to participate in funeral processions Monday morning for services “they missed out on” during the pandemic, according to local reports
About 15 funeral processions were scheduled to take place, following a route through Belle Isle Park where an installation with some 900 portraits of coronavirus victims has been erected.
Hearses provided by local funeral homes led the processions, followed by families who preregistered to participate in the memorial. More than 3,000 vehicles were expected to join the processions, according to local reports.
The city said the memorial site would also be open to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday. The park was closed to all other vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic Monday.
As of August 31, Michigan had reported 102,017 confirmed coronavirus cases and 6,473 total deaths tied to the virus. Detroit alone had recorded 13,625 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,511 deaths, according to the Detroit Health Department.
This video shows the memorial preparation on Saturday, and was shared by Michele Young Hodges, president and CEO of the Belle Isle Conservancy. “This is too powerful not to share,” Hodges wrote in a Facebook post. “I urge you to experience this historic moment. Nowhere else in the world is a memorial such as this happening and, trust me, it is powerful and you will want to be part of it.”
Gov Gretchen Whitmer, Lt Gov Garlin Gilchrist, and Mayor Mike Duggan shared remarks Monday morning at the official unveiling of the memorial and the beginning of the first procession.
“We are taking this time to reflect on what has been a very hard time for so many Detroiters and commemorate the lives of our neighbors who are no longer with us,” Duggan said in a statement. Credit: Michele Young Hodges via Storyful