FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Saturday announced the creation of a fund to develop a permanent monument for the state’s COVID-19 victims.
Beshear made the announcements during a memorial service commemorating the 1-year anniversary of Kentucky’s first COVID-19 case. It was held in front of the Capitol, where the lawn was covered in small American flags, one for each of the 4,754 Kentuckians who have died from the virus.
“We must never become numb to what these represent or the staggering number of flags,” Beshear said. Those who died were “unique and irreplaceable human beings.”
Several family members of victims spoke about those they have lost, often tearing up as they recounted the lives of firefighters, pastors and school workers killed by the virus.
Beshear said this anniversary is also one of hope, with the state now vaccinating tens of thousands of people each day. All qualified adults who want to be vaccinated should be able to get a vaccine by the end of May, he said.