Nevada County COVID-19 Memorial Remembers 75 Lives Lost and Gives Community a Place to Grieve
A year after the first recorded death in Nevada County, the interactive Remembrance Memorial will open in Robinson Plaza, downtown Nevada City, and move to three other locations in the county in 2021
NEVADA CITY, Calif.— April 26, 2021—Since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Nevada County on March 16, 2020, 4,512 cases have followed (at the time of this writing) and 75 deaths. The first death was reported on April 3, 2020. Much like the international death toll, lives lost from COVID in Nevada County are recorded anonymously as numbers not names. This, along with the need for social distancing, has made grieving a solitary experience.
To honor lives lost and give the community a place to grieve, the Nevada County Remembrance Memorial will be installed in Robinson Plaza downtown Nevada City by family members of those who’ve lost their lives from COVID, elected officials, and an alliance of artists. It will be open to the community on May 3, 2021.
The memorial is a six-foot-high column woven of natural elements from Nevada County with a dedication inscribed on local granite. Manzanita rings, engraved to honor each of the 74 lost community members, hang from willow branches.
“Social distancing protocols and the need to protect the privacy of families who’ve lost loved ones has created a perfect storm of isolated grieving,” said Alicia Funk, one of the organizers of the memorial. “Collaborating with artists and community members to build this memorial has been healing to all of us and we hope it will help the community to grieve and move forward from this unimaginable year.”
The community is invited to write messages of what they’ve lost during COVID and send condolences to the families on paper tags attached to the memorial. Families are encouraged to add obituaries and photos of their loved ones to this site.
“We cannot return those who have died to the living, but through this memorial, we can remember them and safeguard that they will not be forgotten,” said Dr. Scott Kellermann, Public Health Officer of Nevada County. Although their lives were shortened by this virus, we can continue to do in our lives what they demonstrated in theirs, by our sharing of love, compassion and mercy.”
The memorial will remain in Nevada City for six weeks before moving to the Truckee Community Recreation Center, downtown Grass Valley, and then the Eric Rood Administration Center.
A team of local artists and community members envisioned and donated their time to construct the memorial, including Peggy Wright, Lyssa Skeahan and Kevin Cowan of Other World Customs, Charles Kritzon, Sarah Regan, and Alicia Funk. Sweet Roots Farm contributed the Willow branches, Liam Ellerby from the Curious Forge completed the metalwork, Grass Valley Sign provided the plaques and Robinsons donated the local granite.
“It has been almost a year since the first case of COVID occurred in Nevada County,” said Funk. “Countless have suffered due to health complications and from significant losses to their livelihoods, friendships and the education of their children. Hopefully, the last COVID case will be recorded soon and this crisis will end.”
The Nevada County community members that have lost their lives will be remembered.
For more information and to add the obituaries and photos of Nevada County community members that have passed due to COVID, please send a message.
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