A Flag For Every Life Lost To COVID-19

Feb 16, 2021

As of early Tuesday morning, Feb. 16, the number had climbed to 144.
Credit Randi B. Hagi

As the pandemic rages on and the vaccine slowly becomes available to more people, one local church has found a visual way to pay homage to those lost to the virus in our area. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

On the lawn of Trinity Presbyterian Church on Route 42 in Harrisonburg, 141 small, white flags tremble in the breeze, each one representing a life lost to COVID-19 in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Reverend Stephanie Sorge said that her church lost a member to the virus this summer, and other congregants have lost loved ones as well.

STEPHANIE SORGE: Rev. Dr. Jim Atwood. He had been worshipping here for a number of years. He and his wife are both retired Presbyterian pastors, and in fact Jim was very active in leading a lot of our campaigns against gun violence.

Reverend Stephanie Sorge of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg.
Credit Ashley Robinson Photography

The last time their church put up an installation like this was on the tenth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting, when they hung up a t-shirt for every victim lost in that tragedy. With these flags – 

SORGE: I hope that for those who have lost loved ones to COVID, or have seen loved ones struggle and continue to struggle with it, that they will see this as a sign of solidarity and comfort, knowing that we are holding them in prayer … we need to remember that even as vaccines are coming, that we still have a long ways ahead in terms of fighting this and keeping our community safe.