COVID-19 deaths remembered in nationwide memorial

Here on Guam, bells tolled 128 times before 8:30 a.m. this morning, marking each life lost to COVID-19. (Facebook photo)

Guam joined the nation Wednesday in remembering and honoring the lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just a day before the Biden-Harris presidential inauguration, communities across the U.S. held memorials and participated in their own way.

Families lit candles, city buildings were lit up at 5:30 pm local time in a light amber color, and churches rang bells signifying their support.

Here on Guam, bells tolled 128 times before 8:30 a.m. this morning, marking each life lost to COVID-19.

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At the vaccination clinic at the University of Guam, the Public Health team also observed a moment of silence

“We are doing something great here…offering COVID-19 vaccines to the people of Guam. In one minute, we observe a moment of silence,” Public Health PIO Janela Carrera said.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero spoke during this morning’s memorial at the Latte of Freedom.

“At the beginning of this pandemic, FEMA had projected that we could lose as many as three thousand lives. Knowing this was not an option, we did whatever we could to protect our island and to keep our people safe. But even one death is one too many,” Leon Guerrero said.

The governor urged residents to remember each person whose life was cut short because of COVID-19 — from the nurse who died in the line of duty, the grandparent and the youngest life lost to the virus, to the law enforcement officer who can no longer serve the community.

The COVID-19 national memorial at the Capitol included the first-ever lighting of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in memory of the lives lost.

Tragically, the U.S. leads the world in the number of coronavirus cases and the number of deaths.

According to an ABC news report, the 400,000 American deaths due to the coronavirus are greater than the number of U.S. soldiers who died in battle during World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined, referring to an analysis of data compiled by the Department of Veterans Affairs.