WASHINGTON — 660,000 white flags are waving in the air on the National Mall, each honoring one American life that has ended due to COVID-19.
The installation, called “In America: Remember,” covers more than 22 acres in 143 sections near the Washington Monument and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Volunteers from Ruppert Landscape installed the flags over the course of three days, completed on Friday. The installation will be up for a total of three weeks, lasting until Oct. 3.
Visitors are invited to get involved in the memorialization, come to the mall and personalize a flag for someone they have lost. However, those who can't make it in person can dedicate a flag virtually on the installation’s website.
660,000 white flags on National Mall in honor of those who have died of COVID-19
Artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg conceived the idea, beginning last fall with 267,080 flags placed outside RFK Stadium in Northeast D.C. Firstenberg is described as a “social action artist” based in the D.C. area., according to the installation’s website. She has also spent 25 years participating in hospice volunteering.
“From micro-script drawings to large-scale installations, Ms. Firstenberg employs art to challenge collective thought regarding social issues of homelessness, human dignity, drug addiction, gun safety, politics, and more,” the description reads.
Wogene Debele's family said they've seen an outpouring of support from their community, who has raised more than $140,000 for the family.