Candles lit outside WWI Museum to remember KCMO residents who died from COVID-19

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Candles counted the people who passed from COVID-19. The special event was held outside the National WWI Museum and Memorial on Saturday evening and remembered those who died in Kansas City, Missouri.

“So this is our way of honoring all of those 550-some-odd citizens that have died of the virus,” organizer Karmello Coleman said.

She was one of the individuals who teamed up with KC Parks & Recreations to conceptualize the event.

There were so many candles that – when lined up – they were able to circle the entire mall area of the museum. Many relatives of people who passed on paid a visit to the event. Organizers emphasized that while each candle represented one person whose cause of death was listed a COVID-19, each candle also represented friends and family who will not be able to be with that person again.

Coleman said she lost her nephew to COVID-19.

“We were praying that so many people have survived the virus. And we were praying that he would be one of those people because he was such a fighter. And he had been sick before and he fought his way back to good health again. So, we were praying that this would happen this time too,” Coleman said.

“Our family was devastated because we couldn’t see him. We couldn’t be with him,” Coleman said.

KC Parks & Recreation helped coordinate the event. Department head Terry Rynard said they had several employees who were represented by candles at the event.

“Now we have had several people that have been in really bad shape, ICU for many days that pulled out. And those are the good stories. But looking around today it’s just a somber event,” Rynard said.

The downtown Kansas City Marriott also lit itself up in the shape of a candle Saturday evening as a part of the tribute.

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