DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – A new website looks to honor Iowans who lost their lives to COVID-19 in the last year.
The website, Iowa COVID Memorial, was launched Friday by Progress Iowa and several other partner organizations.
The site lists the names of those who passed away since March 24, 2020. The Iowa Department of Public Health’s coronavirus dashboard reports that more than 5,500 Iowans have died in relation to the virus.
Anyone who lost a family member, friend, or loved one due to the virus can submit their name to be listed on the online virtual wall. Organizers said the website will share the personal stories and memories of Iowans lost with a photo on their own page.
Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa, said that people cannot forget the memory of the loved ones lost in the past year, saying he hopes the memorial website helps people to recognize the loss felt by many.
Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans President Mike McCarthy, 78, said that he and many friends and relativesare living “with a target on our backs.”
“In Iowa, 9 out of 10 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic have been people my age. Wearing a mask, social distancing and other mitigation measures are easy compared to planning a funeral. We must remember the lessons from this pandemic and those we have lost. May they rest in peace.”
Organizers said the website is just the first step as they plan to hold a variety of memorial events in the coming weeks with more information to be shared soon. One event mentioned on the website is a memorial event to be held at the Iowa Capital on March 24 with a live-stream for people to watch safe at home.