Washington, Dec 31 (PTI) A lighting ceremony commemorating the American lives lost to COVID-19 will be organised on the eve of the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Churches across the country are also being asked to ring bells in the honour of the departed souls, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) said on Thursday.
Biden, 78, would be sworn in as the president on January 20 at the US Capitol overlooking the majestic national mall. He would succeed Donald Trump, 74, as the 46th US president.
Because of coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 344,000 and infected nearly 20 million people in the US, the inauguration is going to be a low key affair this year, Biden and his team had earlier announced.
On Thursday, the PIC announced that it will host a memorial on January 19 at 5:30 pm to remember and honour the lives lost to COVID-19 in cities and towns across the country.
The ceremony will feature a lighting around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington. It will be the 'first-ever lighting around the Reflecting Pool to memorialise American lives lost', the PIC said.
It is also inviting cities and towns around the country to join Washington in illuminating buildings and ringing church bells at 5:30 pm in 'a national moment of unity and remembrance'.
The inauguration of Biden and Harris 'represents the beginning of a new national journey. However, in the midst of a pandemic -- when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbours -- it is important that we honour those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in the nation’s history, and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation,” said PIC Communications Director Pili Tobar. PTI LKJ SCY SCY