Photo memorial honors overdose victims


ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — September is National Recovery Month, and a memorial has been installed in Frederick and Rockville to honor the lives lost to overdoses.

The Surviving Our Ultimate Loss (S.O.U.L) support group usually holds a candlelight vigil every year, but they had to find another event due to COVID.

S.O.U.L. Co-Founder Marielsa Bernard said the memorial is divided into three segments: A time to remember, a time to act, and the voices of recovery, featuring testimonies of those who are on the road to overcoming their addiction.

“We have black and white posters that have our loved ones’ pictures in them, and it says someone’s mother, someone’s brother, someone’s sister, someone’s grandchild,” Bernard said. “And I think that’s a very powerful part of the display as well.”

Lucinda Nelson’s son died of an overdose in 2019, and she said the memorial reminds participants these victims are real people from their community.

“When you walk through this memorial and you see the faces of all those men and women who have died, it touches hearts,” Nelson said. “And it brings home the fact that we are in a dire situation with the addiction epidemic, and it unfortunately has gotten worse because of COVID.

Bernard said they have other programs scheduled for the future including an online narcan training scheduled for September 22.

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