MIAMI (WSVN) - A heartbreaking memorial is now on display in honor of those South Floridians who have lost their fight with the coronavirus.
Family and loved ones gathered in Simonhoff Park in Miami on Wednesday to celebrate the lives of those lost during the pandemic.
“People need to understand the aftermath that happens in a family,” said Rachel Moore who lost her mother, Patsy Gilreath-Moore, to COVID-19.
Passing days have not made the loss any easier for Rachel who lost her mother in August.
Moore’s mother was 79 and affectionately known as “Mama Moore.”
She was hospitalized and then sent home where her condition worsened.
“We took her back, they admitted her and our life began on an iPad,” said Rachel. “Within about 10 days, she was on a ventilator, and she was on the ventilator for about 25 or 28 days.”
Rachel said it meant a lot to have her mother represented at the park, which was transformed into a memorial cemetery.
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson joined forces to make the memorial happen.
“There’s been no national or statewide tribute to the many lost, so this is District 24’s tribute to the many lost,” Wilson said.
“The numbers are now rising again,” Edmonson said. “According to our reports, more than 3,000 have died in the state of Florida and 1,500 have died right here in Miami-Dade County, including my brother.”
Stephanie McKay was also in attendance to sign her mother, Nellie Mae’s, name. She said she is grateful to have the memorial for the community to see.
“You hear about it on TV every day,” she said. “You see it on the news, but when it hits home, it hits hard. I’m the only child, and me and my mother were very close. We were best friends.”
Plastic tombstones were placed in the park and will remain there until Nov. 5 for others who have suffered a loss to sign.
Rachel said she hopes this will not only honor lives like her mother’s but also that it serves as a wake up call.
“Even families that have already been hit are sometimes just kind of giving in to it,” she said. “We’re hoping that people see this and somehow understand that if you put all these lives together in one big place, it will be really massive, and it’s a huge loss too — to our communities, to our families and to our country.”
If you would like to add a loved one’s name to the memorial, the plan is to have to up until Nov. 5.
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