Lexington candle memorial honors people who died from COVID-19

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Friday, Mayor Linda Gorton and a group of faith leaders prayed over a new candle memorial downtown honoring those in the county that have died related to COVID-19.

The display is in the window of the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center with a candle representing each person who has died.

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Friday, there were 109 lives represented.

“It’s something people gotta realize this is no joke, it can take you in a minute you know,” Eloris Young said.

Eloris Young lost her sister, Charlotte Daniels, to COVID-19 a moth and a half ago. Young says the day after they buried Daniels, her half-sister died.

“To my sisters I miss you and I love you and I wish you was [sic] here but God knows best,” she said.

Young also tested positive for COVID-19, now as a survivor and someone who is grieving, Young says she hopes the lights stand as a reminder of life and the seriousness of the virus.

Unfortunately the memorial will continue to grow, likely until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine. And for Celeste Lewis, the manager of Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center, she will have to be one of the people to continually add to the display, one death at a time.

“It’s very sad, it really gave me a little stomach flip that we would be adding candles frequently,” Lewis said.
And still, like the outside of the center says, Lewis hopes people can understand “Art helps heal us.”

The Arts Center is closed to indoor visitors but you can see the candles lit up from 5 p.m. to midnight each night from outside.

The “In Remembrance” display also has an online initiative too.

People can submit words of condolences or memories from those they lost and they will be posted online and on social media through the Mayor’s Office. The email to be included in this project is  inremembrance@lexingtonky.gov 

 

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com