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Volunteers lay 10 wreaths around Norfolk to commemorate COVID-19 victims

Congresswoman Elaine Luria visited Norfolk to pay tributes at one of the wreaths. It's part of a nationwide effort that started in New York.

NORFOLK, Va. — Volunteers laid ten floral wreaths around Norfolk to remember those who lost their lives to COVID-19.

It’s called the Floral Heart Project.

Outside the Chrysler Museum of Art, Congresswoman Elaine Luria, Delegate Jay Jones, Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander, Chrysler Director Erik Neil, and Virginia Beach City Councilman and the museum’s community engagement manager Michael Berlucchi all pinned ribbons to the wreath with the names of those who lost their battle against COVID-19.

“It’s a real name and it’s a real person and it’s real-life lost," Luria said. “It’s heart-wrenching to know that we’ve lost so much in the last year.”

Allison Lavigne is the curator behind the wreaths.

“I just felt so helpless," she said. "It felt like the small gesture that I could do to help the community offer some peace and comfort in a time of such anguish.”

Laure Ferguson served as the volunteer chair.

“It’s a chance to just be able to be a gentle memorial to those that we lost," Ferguson said. "I think most of us have lost family or friends, I know I have, so it’s very meaningful.”

It’s part of a national project started by an artist in New York to commemorate the more than half a million people who died because of COVID-19, across the United States.

Luria said she hopes the recent approval of Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine will be another step towards the end of the pandemic.

RELATED: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine 'a game changer' for Virginia

“It’s tragic and it’s a tragic loss to our community and what I think of is that I truly feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel on the other side of this," Luria said.

“It’s a big effort to vaccinate 300 million people and I know there’s been some bumps in the roads and it’s been slow and there are people who are still waiting to get vaccines but the truth is we’re lucky to have a vaccine this quickly and we’re doing everything we can to push it to the states, to the communities, to get it out.”  

Everyone is invited to view the wreaths. 

These are the locations for the wreaths in Norfolk:

  • Chrysler Museum of Art
  • The Plot at The Neon District
  • Millstone Courtyard at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens
  • Yellow Fever Park
  • Hague Bridge
  • Lafayette Park
  • Ocean View Beach Park
  • Berkley Park 

Wreaths will also be located along the Elizabeth River Trail, including Town Point Park, Wisconsin Square, Plum Point Park and the Hermitage Museum and Gardens gate.

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