The city of Southfield will display a COVID-19 memorial outside the Southfield Municipal Center May 10-28. City officials will display flags on the front lawn to honor those connected with Southfield who have died of the virus.

The city of Southfield will display a COVID-19 memorial outside the Southfield Municipal Center May 10-28. City officials will display flags on the front lawn to honor those connected with Southfield who have died of the virus.

Photo by Jacob Herbert


Southfield to display COVID-19 memorial, visual tribute in May

By: Jacob Herbert | Southfield Sun | Published April 21, 2021

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SOUTHFIELD — As the number of worldwide deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 3 million, the number of deaths due to the virus in Southfield have also reached a number far too high. As of press time, 265 Southfield residents have died from the virus.

As a way to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives, the city will create a memorial on the front lawn of the Southfield municipal campus. The memorial will consist of flags with names of the deceased written on them. The flags will be displayed May 10-28.

“I think that for many of us that have lost friends and community members, whether it’s been through COVID or other causes, it’s been very hard to say goodbye, and it’s been hard to breathe given that you couldn’t visit people in the hospital that were ill and funerals were closed,” said Southfield Mayor Ken Siver. “We want our community to know that they may be gone, but they’re not forgotten.”

The city will hold a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. May 11 where various city and local religious officials will speak. As a way to make sure the memory of those lost lives on, there will be a reading of the names of community members who have passed.

“We had to do something to mark the horrific pandemic that (killed) 265 residents. We realized that they weren’t a statistic. These were lives,” said Public Arts Commission Chair Delores Flagg. “We wanted to show not only residents, but surrounding communities, that Southfield cares. We thought the best thing to do was to give that memorial and visual tribute to the city.”

Southfield officials are encouraging residents to submit a personalized memorial as a way to honor lost loved ones. If applicable, residents are being asked to submit a name, a brief bio of 350 characters or less and an optional photo to be included in an online memorial. Submissions should be emailed to kbryant@cityofsouthfield.com. To learn more about those who have died of COVID-19, visit cityofsouthfield.com/covid19communitymemorial.

In March alone, Siver said, there were 538 new COVID-19 cases in Southfield. As of April 14, the city already had surpassed that March total. The mayor said people may be facing COVID-19 fatigue having dealt with the pandemic for over a year. Regardless, Siver said, we’re not home safe just yet.

“We’re encouraging people to get the vaccine,” he said. “We’re encouraging social distancing, we’re absolutely wearing masks and we’re following every other safety protocol, including washing hands and doing things to keep yourself and your family safe.”

Flagg echoed the mayor’s statement.

“I want to be very optimistic, because we cannot allow adversity, something as serious as this, to overcome our worth,” she said. “We have to continue to hold hope and realize that we have a responsibility to take all the necessary caution and listen to the CDC recommendations. It takes all of us to move forward and beat this pandemic.”

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