NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Congresswoman Elaine Luria attended and made brief remarks at the Floral Heart Project’s COVID-19 Memorial in Norfolk Monday.
100 Floral Hearts were placed across the country in honor of people who died because of COVID-19.
In Norfolk, volunteers placed 12 hearts as a way to help people remember and honor the victims of the virus. Every petal placed and every ribbon tied is a tribute to someone who lost their life because of the deadly disease.
“I just felt so helpless and it felt like this small gesture that I could do to help the community, offer some peace and comfort in a time of such anguish,” said Allison Lavigne, curator of the installation.
Attendees included Luria, Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District representative; Del. Jay Jones, the 89th District of the Virginia House of Delegates representative; Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander and Virginia Beach City Councilman Michael Berlucchi, of the city’s Rose Hall District.
“Each one of those represents one person that we’ve lost to this who’s a father, a mother, a sister, a neighbor. I mean, just a huge loss to our country and our community,” said Luria. “When you take a ribbon that has the name of someone who you know or you know of or you know that your neighbor knows them, I mean, it’s a real name and it’s a real person and it’s a real life lost.”
The Norfolk event was among 100 planned across the nation on March 1. There are several others planned in the Hampton Roads region as well.
“Just be able to be a gentle memorial to those that we’ve lost,” said volunteer chair Laure Ferguson. “I think that most of us have lost family members or friends. I know I have, so it’s very meaningful.”
According to the Floral Heart Project, New York artist Kristina Libby started the initiative in April last year to memorialize the lives lost to COVID-19. It grew from there.
Installation locations in Norfolk include the Chrysler Museum of Art, The Plot at The Neon District, the Millstone Courtyard at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens, Yellow Fever Park, Hague Bridge, Lafayette Park, Ocean View Beach Park, Berkley Park and locations along the Elizabeth River Trail, including Town Point Park, Wisconsin Square, Plum Point Park and the Hermitage Museum and Gardens gate.