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Madison church honors Wisconsin COVID-19 deaths

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Trinity United Methodist Church's COVID-19 Ribbon Memorial

MADISON (WKOW) -- A Madison church opened up a special memorial in honor of the people lost to COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

Colorful ribbons now line the outdoor railings of Trinity United Methodist Church. Each ribbon represents one of the more than 1,200 people who have died in Wisconsin during the pandemic.

"People are not just a number," said Reverend Breanna Illene. "This is someone who had a family, someone who had a life, someone who has friends who miss them, and we wanted to be able to show the impact of COVID here in Wisconsin."

Illene added that the memorial acknowledges the disproportionate impact of COVIVD-19 on minority communities. It features signs displaying statistics on Wisconsin's COVID-19 data.

"We want to be able to share that too, kind of the intersection of racial justice. The pandemic of racism and the pandemic of COVID-19," she said.

The idea came from a similar project at Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts. The ribbons can include the names of loved ones, their date of death and location.

"Our church building is closed right now. We're worshipping online, but we saw this as a way to be open to the community, to create a space for the community to gather," said Illene.

The church welcomes community members to continue sending in names, even by text.

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Jessica Viti

Intern, WKOW TV

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