Biden holds memorial for COVID-19 victims, says to heal we must remember

Lalit K Jha
·2-min read

Washington, Jan 20 (PTI) On the eve of his inauguration on Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden held a memorial service for COVID-19 victims as the number of people who have died in the US due to the pandemic crossed four lakh.

“To heal we must remember. It's hard sometimes to remember, but that's how we heal,” Biden noted in his brief remarks on Tuesday in front of the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial here where a memorial to those lost to COVID was set up.

“It's important to do that as a nation, that's why we're here today. Between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights in the darkness along this sacred pool of reflection, and remember all who we've lost,” said Biden at his first stop in Washington DC after his arrival from his home town in Delaware.

After listening to a solo rendition of 'Allelujah', Biden and the incoming First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and incoming Second Gentlemen Doug Emhoff stood in silent reflection.

On Wednesday, Biden and Harris will be sworn in as the President and the Vice President, respectively, of the US.

Biden and the Future First Lady are staying at the Blair House, the presidential guest house across the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue.

“We gather tonight a nation in mourning to pay tribute to the lives we have lost, a grandmother or grandfather who was our whole world, a parent, a partner, sibling, or friend who we still cannot accept is no longer here. And for many months, we have grieved by ourselves,” Harris said.

“Tonight, we grieve and begin healing together. Though we may be physically separated, we the American people are united in spirit. And my abiding hope, my abiding prayer is that we emerge from this ordeal with a new wisdom, to cherish simple moments, to imagine new possibilities, and to open our hearts just a little bit more to one another,” she said.

The memorial was part of the Presidential Inaugural Committee's nationwide COVID-19 memorial to honour the nearly 4,00,000 lives lost in the United States to the pandemic. This included illuminating 400 lights around the reflection pool at the Lincoln Memorial.

This is the first-ever lighting around the reflecting pool of the Lincoln Memorial.

According to the Presidential Inaugural Committee, hundreds of towns, cities, tribes, landmarks and communities across the country joined the tribute in a national moment of unity Tuesday night.

Iconic buildings, from the Empire State Building in New York to the Space Needle in Seattle, are being illuminated, and other places across America will participate, including Wilmington, Oakland, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Dearborn, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Scanton, Charleston, and Houston. PTI LKJ RDM RDM