Memorial honors 220 Jackson-Madison County residents lost to COVID-19
JACKSON, Tenn. — A memorial of 220 flags has been unveiled in Madison County.
Each flag represents a member of the Jackson-Madison County community who lost their life to COVID-19.
“Those are friends, coworkers, family members, neighbors. That’s why we’re here to honor them today,” said Jackson Mayor Scott Conger.
Wednesday marks the one year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case detected in Madison County.
Now, a year later, the virus ravaged almost every state in the US. Here in Madison County, it has led to over 11,000 cases, along with the 220 deaths.
“I think the pandemic is kind of like cancer. Everybody here knows somebody. Either you’ve had it, or you know somebody who has had cancer. I think this virus is the same way,” said Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris.
“This time last year, we knew it wasn’t going to be a short time. We were going to have to be in this for the long haul and make decisions that have long-term effects for our community, for businesses, for the people here,” Mayor Conger said.
Healthcare and government officials attended the memorial, recounting their experiences of the past year.
“With each moment we had to announce another death in Madison County, it’s been hard. But we’re here with you, we’re mourning for you and with you. For your loved ones that you lost,” said Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department Regional Director Kim Tedford.
This memorial is temporary, and it will continue to grow.
“Unfortunately, as we lose more of our friends and neighbors, and coworkers, and loved ones, we know that we’ll have to add flags,” Mayor Conger said.
The flags might be small and they might fit in a single area, but the people lost and the memories they still bring to those around them will always be bigger than any memorial could display.
Mayor Conger says they have not discussed a permanent memorial idea yet, and they want to wait until the pandemic is over to begin those discussions.