FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Leaders from the Northern Virginia Regional Commission came together at the Fairfax County Government Center on Wednesday night to honor lives lost to COVID-19.
More than 2,300 community members across 13 counties in Northern Virginia were taken too soon. Fairfax County placed American flags on the windows of the government center to represent those community members lost.
“Behind me you will see 236 flags. Each flag represents 10 people we have lost to COVID-19 across our Northern Virginia region, totaling 2,364 people,” said Fairfax County board chairman, Jeffrey McKay.
Many Fairfax County leaders spoke at the event, including Fire Chief, John Butler.
“The pandemic has touched us all. We’ve all lost loved ones and watched as our lives, and the lives of many other friends and family were turned upside down…We remember those who are no longer with us, we all know someone. The lives they lived, we remember those left behind,” expressed Butler.
Fairfax County’s director of health, Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, reflected on the tragedies, but reminded residents to continue to care for our vulnerable neighbors.
“We should remain mindful that many lives in our region and many more across our nation will never be able to recover. We must do everything in our power to protect the most vulnerable amongst us who remain at risk for severe disease,” said Ayensu.
The ceremony closed with the ceremonial ringing of the bell, a fire department tradition dating back over 150 years to remember those who died in the line of duty. The bell was rung to remember lives lost from each county.