‘Open Hearts’ memorial honors lives lost to COVID-19


URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The reported COVID-19 death toll has now eclipsed 400,000 people in the U.S. and the number of deaths is accelerating. In Champaign County, 102 people have died since the start of the pandemic.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Champaign-Urbana created an “Open Hearts” memorial, with a dedication ceremony earlier Tuesday.

City and community leaders, including Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen and Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin, came out Tuesday. Organizers hope this memorial will give people the opportunity to come together in a time that has kept people apart.

The incoming Biden Administration named Tuesday a national day of mourning.

The church rang its bell at 4:30 p.m. in honor of the event.

Those who have lost someone to COVID-19 in Champaign County can have a heart personalized in their honor. To have a heart personalized, email the church.

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