On the night prior to their inauguration, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, along with their spouses, paid their respects to the 400,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus in the past eleven months.
With the reflecting pool on the National Mall lined with 400 luminaries, each marking 1,000 people who have died during the pandemic, the President-elect made brief comments which were preceded by words of remembrance from Washington, DC’s Roman Catholic Cardinal Wilton Gregory.
Gospel singer Yolanda Adams performed a versions of the iconic Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah” and Michigan nurse Lori Marie Key sang the hymn “Amazing Grace.”
This marks the first official federal memorial to those who died during the coronavirus pandemic. MSNBC host Brian Williams, noting that the National Mall contains memorials to those who died in wars fought by the United States, suggested that the luminaries become a permanent memorial to the coronavirus pandemic.