LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A grassroots effort is growing to establish a national day of mourning for the victims of COVID-19.
More than 100 events are taking place across the country Monday to honor the more than 514,000 Americans who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Hugh Freyer, an 86-year-old Korean War veteran and retired banker, was among them.READ MORE: Report: ArcLight Cinemas, Pacific Theatres To Close Permanently
Freyer’s death last July still weighs heavily on his daughter, Carolyn Freyer-Jones, and his granddaughter, 13-year-old Lucinda Jones. He left behind the wife he had been married to for 60 years and seven grandchildren.
“There was so little conversation about the loss. So little acknowledgement of the loss,” Freyer-Jones said. So she went on to found the Friday Minute – 60 seconds at the end of the week to honor her father and the more than half-million who have died of COVID-19.
“People do better when things are acknowledged and people are seen,” she said.
The Friday Minute is one of many movements that are seeking to remember loved ones lost to the virus. Thousands of felt roses are also being collected to represent every life lost for the Rose River Memorial, art installations that are being set up in Santa Monica, Orange County and other sites across the country. The roses will connect the grief flowing across the nation into a beautiful rose river.
Lucinda is creating a felt rose for her grandfather, whom she misses keenly and speaks of fondly.
“We’d go to the movies whenever we went out, or I went to him…and sometimes he’d fall asleep,” she said with a fond laugh.
Wreaths of flower hearts will also be laid at sites across the nation Monday, with participants calling for the first Monday in March to be declared a federally-recognized day of mourning. Freyer-Jones will host a moment of silence at the Santa Monica art installation – something she had been doing on Instagram Live every Friday for months.MORE NEWS: Group Gathers In South LA To Protest Deadly Minnesota Shooting Of Daunte Wright
The effort to make the first Monday of March a national day of mourning is being organized on social media under the hashtag #markedbycovid.