Nearly a year into the pandemic, more than 400,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. Texas has been one of the worst-hit states, with more than 32,000 fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And considering the country is experiencing another surge, those numbers are sure to grow.
In light of this, on Tuesday evening the City of Houston will join a nationwide lighting ceremony to pay respects to the victims of Covid-19.
Houston’s been particularly hurt by this pandemic. The city’s Covid-19 death toll has risen to 1,652 individuals, according to the Harris County/City of Houston COVID-19 Data Hub. Of these deaths, minority populations have been disproportionately affected. Black Houstonians make up more than one-fifth of the city’s deaths (21 percent) and those of Hispanic descent make up more than half (54.96 percent).
“A lot of families are grieving the loss of a loved one. Hosting a memorial and remembering people who died due to complications from the virus will be a nonpartisan event,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner in a press release. “I encourage everyone to join us by illuminating your building, ringing a bell, and watching the virtual program."
Along with City Hall, at this time the buildings that are set to illuminate at sundown are Partnership Tower, The Wortham Theater Center, Jones Hall, 7 Wonders, The Lyric Center, Main Street Square, the Montrose Hwy. 59/I-69 bridges, The Wharf, Uptown Houston/Post Oak Boulevard, and both George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports.
Other cities across the country will also light up memorials at the same time as Houston’s ceremony. In Washington D.C., the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool will be lit—the memorial is included in President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s inauguration events, according to the release.
“The program in Washington D.C. will emphasize the importance of looking back and remembering the lives we have lost to Covid-19 as we look forward to the hope of a new path and a brighter future,” the release reads.