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National Cathedral Rings Bell for 30 Minutes Straight

To mark the COVID death toll
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2020 7:06 AM CST

(Newser) – The bell tolls went on and on and on—an audible reminder of the toll of the coronavirus pandemic. Over 30 minutes Tuesday, the Washington National Cathedral rang its 12-ton bell 300 times, with each toll representing 1,000 Americans who've died of COVID-19. The cathedral—which is also displaying the names of COVID-19 victims in its Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea and usually rings its bell whenever it holds a funeral—said the ringing of the bell "cannot replace the lives lost, but we hope it will help each American mourn the toll of this pandemic."

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On Sept. 20, the cathedral had tolled the bell 200 times to represent the 200,000 American deaths at the time, reports the Episcopal News Service. "God forgive us if we find ourselves tolling this bell again at 400,000 lives lost," the cathedral’s dean, the Very Rev. Randy Hollerith, says in a statement, per the Week. "I don't want to lose any more lives. I don't want us to think this is normal," he adds. "Now, more than ever, we have to protect each other because there has been far too much death." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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