Madison Church Creates Memorial to Those We Have Lost to COVID-19

In remembrance and honor of those who have died in the coronavirus pandemic in Wisconsin, members of Trinity United Methodist Church at 1123 Vilas Avenue in Madison have created a fabric ribbon tribute on the outdoor railings of their church, with each colorful ribbon representing one of the over 1,200 people who have died in the state so far.

A banner in front of the display reads, "For Those We Have Lost to COVID-19, God in Your Mercy Hear Our Prayer." Below this, the public is invited to send in the name, date of death, and location of a loved one they have lost to COVID-19, so that information can be added to one of the numbered ribbons.

The memorial was created as a way to both demonstrate the tragic impact that COVID-19 has had in our communities and to give those who are mourning a place to pray, meditate and honor the lives of their loved ones.

Three additional signs are posted to the side of the memorial, two focusing on the disparities in how COVID-19 has affected Black and Brown communities and the third praying for an end to the racial inequities in our state that have been further revealed during the pandemic.

Each week, team members engage in the sobering task of adding ribbons to represent the additional fallen. "It's a form of prayer and a call to action," one team member explained. "In these quiet moments, I can focus on the friend I lost to COVID-19, and I can also ask myself, "What can I be doing to make our community safer, more loving and kind, less hateful and divided?"

The idea for this memorial came from a similar project at Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts.

If you would like to have the name of your lost loved one added to a ribbon in this memorial, please text their name, and the date and location of death, to 608-257-4591. The public are invited to utilize the memorial as a place of prayer and contemplation.