502 white flags at City Hall honor the Nashville residents we've lost to COVID

Posted at 4:11 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 21:46:34-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — We talk a lot about numbers in our COVID-19 coverage, but let's not forget they represent real people. A new COVID memorial in Nashville is trying to bring that point home.

On the lawn in front of City Hall, staff from Nashville Mayor John Cooper's office put out 502 white flags, representing all of the souls we've lost in Davidson County since the pandemic started. The color white was a deliberate choice.

Here at City Hall -- the Mayor’s office has put out 502 white flags -- representing all of the souls we’ve lost in Nashville since the pandemic started.

"Because they are white flags, if somebody wanted to come and write a family member that passed away, that’s an option as well," said Kathy Flloyd-Bugs, Mayor Cooper's Director of Neighborhoods.

A few of the staffers say these flags hit close to home. Brandon Marshall -- the Mayor's Digital Director -- lost his grandfather earlier this week from complications due to COVID-19.

While is grandfather lived out of state, Marshall felt like he was planting a flag in his honor today, since he won't be able to travel home for the funeral services.

"He was 83 years old, and he had been living in a nursing home for quite some time, so they tried to do the best as they can to keep everyone safe, but it came pretty quickly," said Marshall.

Almost symbolic of what this year has been for Nashville -- this memorial was originally planned to be at Riverfront Park, but because of the Christmas Day bombing on 2nd Avenue, it was relocated to City Hall.

The flags will remain in place for a week, according to the Mayor's office.