WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has now claimed more than 700,000 American lives, but millions of Americans, including some elected officials, continue to dismiss the deadly virus, even as the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 continues to soar. That’s partly why Maryland-based artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg took to the National Mall at the end of September until today, the final day of her powerful outdoor exhibit, “In America: Remember,” which memorializes each coronavirus victim with a simple white flag.
The National Mall is rarely home to such a sprawling outdoor exhibit, making “In America: Remember” the largest art display on the mall since the AIDS quilt was displayed here in 1987.
Last October, Firstenberg unveiled a similar memorial at the D.C. Armory honoring the 219,000 American lives claimed by coronavirus at the time. Not even a year later, the number of deaths has more than doubled, even as public health experts have been frustrated to watch millions of Americans continue to refuse vaccinations and masks.
Visitors have been encouraged to sign and plant their own flags, remembering the loved ones ripped from them during the coronavirus pandemic.
The exhibit comes down after today, and organizers will be adding flags until their permit runs out and they have to start collecting the makeshift grave stones, which now includes the 52,271 Americans lost to coronavirus in past 28 days alone.