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Biden inauguration to feature memorial for COVID-19 victims

Biden inauguration to feature memorial for COVID-19 victims

A man sits near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON: President-elect Joe Biden is planning a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to honor those who died from the coronavirus, the day before he is sworn into office on Jan 20.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee said on Thursday (Dec 31) that it would hold the event the evening of Jan 19, calling it the “first-ever lighting around the Reflecting Pool to memorialise American lives lost”. 

It is also inviting communities around the country to join Washington in lighting up buildings and ringing church bells at 5.30pm in “a national moment of unity and remembrance".

"In the midst of a pandemic - when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbours - it is important that we honour those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in the nation’s history, and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation,” inauguration committee spokesman Pili Tobar said in a statement.

READ: Among first acts, Biden to call for 100 days of mask-wearing

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris plan to take their oaths of office outside the US Capitol building, part of inauguration events that aim to capture the traditional grandeur of the historic ceremony while complying with COVID-19 protocols. 

The virus has killed more than 340,000 people nationwide.

The inauguration committee already announced this week that there would be no traditional inaugural luncheon at the Capitol because of the virus, another political tradition suspended because of the pandemic.

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Source: AP/gs

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