NEW ORLEANS — The Presidential Inaugural Committee has invited the City of New Orleans to participate in President-elect Joe Biden’s upcoming memorial ceremony and national moment of unity recognizing the thousands of lives lost to COVID-19 across this country.
The night before the inauguration, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will lead this ceremony by lighting the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 19, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. (CST). The Presidential Inaugural Committee invited cities and towns around the country to light up their buildings and ring church bells as part of this national moment of unity and remembrance.
In advance of the event, the City will be placing white flags at Lafayette Square to commemorate New Orleanians lost to COVID-19. There will also be a temporary memorial at the gates in front of Gallier Hall where citizens are encouraged to leave flowers, cards, photographs, or tokens in remembrance of their loved ones beginning this weekend.
A small ceremony with Mayor LaToya Cantrell and City Council President Helena Moreno will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2021, in front of Gallier Hall to coincide with the event in Washington, D.C. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the ceremony will be filmed for the public to watch.
“We find ourselves grieving for the loss of too many lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic while still engaged in our work to prevent further loss,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “We know we must do both. And so I am honored to join and participate in the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s memorial to remember the lives lost due to COVID-19. This will be a time, and thankfully not the last, for friends and family to come together and pay respect to their loved ones. This memorial, though temporary for now, will eventually be turned into a permanent memorial to honor the people that lost their lives due to the pandemic.”
“I am really proud that our beautiful city will be featured during the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s memorial in remembrance of the lives COVID-19 has stolen from us. Our city was an early epicenter of this crisis, and our citizens know all too well the pain and suffering this disease has wrought. Many of our loved ones, colleagues, friends and neighbors are sadly no longer with us and they deserve to be honored and remembered in this national tribute,” said City Council President Helena Moreno.
The City will continue to honor the people of New Orleans lost to COVID-19 beyond this ceremony and is currently in the planning stages of a permanent memorial.
To date in Orleans Parish, we have lost a total of 695 of our people to COVID-19 and there have been a total of approximately 24,000 cases. In the United States there have been a total of approximately 381,000 deaths due to COVID-19 and approximately 22.9 million cases.
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