NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — The COVID-19 death toll continues to climb. On Tuesday, the nation topped more than 400,000 deaths.
President-Elect Joe Biden asked all churches across the country to ring their bells at the same time to honor the many lives taken too soon.
Christ Church Cathedral was one of several Middle Tennessee churches that participated in the bell ringing ceremony. Deacon Roger Saterstrom says they did a similar gesture when the country reached 200,000 and 300,000 deaths.
He's in shock the deaths came on so quick but church staff says they will continue to ring the bells to honor the lives lost to the coronavirus.
"We don't give up, we don't give up on God, God doesn't give up on us so as numbers of people are called home to that final rest, we're going to be there to remember to acknowledge and to pray for them," said Saterstrom.
Saterstrom says the past few months have been hard as he sits in an empty church sanctuary. "We no longer have at this time live in-person services on Sunday, they are prerecorded."
COVID-19 has impacted many communities by closing church doors. But for many families and communities, it's taken so much more.
"We recognize the first 200,000 who died in November. And that was such a shock, 200,000 died in just a few month's time," said Saterstrom.
President-elect Joe Biden encouraged cities across the country to Tuesday evening by lighting up buildings or ringing church bells 400 times to remember the more than 400,000 lives lost to the Coronavirus in the U.S.
"Here we are in mid-January at 400,000 and we'll back at 500. And we'll be back as long as it takes but this isn't something that you plan for in advance, it’s responding to the realities that define our environment," said Saterstrom.
Saterstrom says even with vaccines, social distancing and mask-wearing, COVID-19 is still very real.
"We expect in the next three to four weeks we're going to be here again and this time we're going to be recognizing 500,000 lives parish."
He says when that unfortunate time comes, Christ Church Cathedral will ring the bells again.
There was also a special light show at the Lincoln Memorial pool in Washington, D.C. where President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris spoke.