YANKTON, S.D. (KELO) – 2,000 people in South Dakota have died due to COVID-19. While it can seem like just a number, it’s important to remember that each person left behind a grieving loved one.
That’s why one KELOLAND church is creating a memorial to remember those lives lost.
The United Church of Christ-Congregational in Yankton has created a unique way to not only honor the people that have died of COVID in the county, but also the United States.
Ribbons are being tied to the banisters outside of the United Church of Christ in Yankton.
It’s all part of a memorial to honor those who have died due to COVID-19.
“There will be one ribbon for every thousand deaths that we’ve experienced in our country and so there will be over 580 ribbons on here ,” pastor, Jacqueline Hickox-Morgan said.
They’re hoping this memorial will raise awareness.
“Hopefully people will have a better awareness and comprehension of the losses we have had, not only in our community but in the world, it’s just been so devastating,” church member, missions board, Diane Reese said.
“When you see the ribbons you recognize that each one represents a thousand so looking at that and then using as a symbolization of what it would look like at a cemetery, with tombstones, it takes your breath away,” church member, missions board, Arlene Stoebner said.
Once the pieces of cloth are put into place, people will then be able to write the names of people they’ve lost on them.
Additionally, 34 battery operated candles have been placed in windows of the church to represent the deaths in Yankton County.
“Being able to have a place where you can stand and see something the represents the losses that we’ve experienced with COVID is important for our spiritual lives and our emotional lives, and all those things,” Hickox-Morgan said.
The idea came from members of the Mission Ministry. Saturday morning at 11:00 there will be a dedication ceremony where they will finish tying on the last 100 ribbons.
There will also be speakers sharing their personal experiences of how the pandemic has affected them. Anyone is welcome to attend.