Harrisonburg church places flags to remember those locally lost to COVID-19

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:34 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — On Monday, President Joe Biden held a moment of silence honoring the 500,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus, and in Harrisonburg, one church is honoring those who have died locally.

Outside the Trinity Presbyterian Church off of South High Street, there are 148 white flags spaced evenly apart on the ground. According to Pastor Stephanie Sorge, each one of those flags represents someone who has died from COVID-19 in Rockingham County or Harrisonburg.

Sorge said once a week, members update the display, but when it started in January, there were only 97 flags.

“I think this is a way of standing in solidarity with those people, many in our community who are grieving a real loss,” Sorge said. “It’s not just the deaths but it’s also loss of jobs, loss of income, loss of housing and stability that some are dealing with.”

Sorge said one of the flags actually represents a member of their congregation who died of COVID-19 at the start of summer. She said they were told the person and their wife tested positive for the coronavirus after the person had a fall at their home.

“She recovered, but unfortunately he did not,” Sorge said. “He died in June. In fact, one of our members has left some flowers here in his memory, so it definitely hits close to home for us.”

Sorge said she hopes many can look at the display and realize how the pandemic is affecting our community. She said they will continue to update the display throughout the pandemic.

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