Belle Isle Memorial Pays Tribute to Michiganders Lost to COVID-19 [VIDEO]
About 1,500 pictures of loved ones lost to the coronavirus lined the street around Belle Isle on Monday (8/31) as families paid their final respects.
The event honoring Detroit residents who have passed away during the pandemic was organized by Mayor Mike Duggan and a Detroit-area woman, both of whom were not able to say a proper goodbye to their loved ones.
Tionna Barksdale lost her sister Nikki to coronavirus in March.
“It makes you feel like you’re not alone because you see all the pictures out here,” Barksdale told WDIV. “It’s like a bittersweet situation when you’re driving through because it’s sweet that it was a suggestion, that it was done. But then it was bitter because it’s like you have to see so many faces all at once.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was present and offered words of condolence for the families and paid tribute to Michigan's youngest coronavirus victim, Skylar Herbert.
“One of the youngest, the youngest in Michigan, Skyler Herbert, had a lifetime ahead of her. And two parents who were dedicated public servants,” Whitmer said.
Herbert lost her battle with the disease in April. The five-year-old from Detroit became the first child in Michigan to die from COVID-19. She was the daughter of two first-responders, contracting the disease in March. She spent two weeks on a ventilator and ultimately died from meningitis and swelling of the brain which were complications related to coronavirus.
There were 15 funeral processions held on the island Monday.
Take a look at some of the people who were memorialized in the video below.