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Island Becomes Drive-Thru COVID Memorial

Families set up large photos of victims on Detroit's Belle Isle
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 31, 2020 7:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Detroit island park was transformed Monday into a drive-thru COVID-19 victims memorial, as hearses led processions around Belle Isle Park. More than 900 large photos of local coronavirus victims provided by relatives were turned into posters and staked into the ground, the AP reports. The pictures in the island park, which is in the Detroit River, showed those who died of COVID-19: Darrin Adams at his college graduation, Daniel Aldape catching a fish, Shirley Frank with an Elvis impersonator, and Veronica Davis crossing the finish line at a race.

They had "dreams and plans and a story," Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said at the park. "They weren't finished yet." The region’s classical music station added gospel music to its playlist and read the names of the deceased. Rochelle Riley, Detroit's director of arts and culture, said officials hope the memorial will "wake people up to the devastating effect of the pandemic," as well as "bring some peace to families whose loved ones didn't have the funerals they deserved."

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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