Kansas City leadership will come together to honor frontline workers and remember those lost to COVID-19 during a National Day of Remembrance on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a press conference where a backdrop of 1,665 white flags will line the National WWI Museum and Memorial’s Main Entrance, representing those lost to COVID-19 in the Kansas City Metro.
The press conference will end with the Kansas City skyline lighting up in amber to mark this day with cities across the nation. The buildings will include various landmarks in the downtown and Crossroads districts, City Hall, KCMO Parks structures and fountains, Union Station and Children’s Mercy Park. The flags will be displayed through Sunday, Jan. 24, and community members are invited to visit the installation.
“We look forward to joining our community to honor local frontline workers who are fighting this pandemic and remembering the 1,600 plus Kansas Citians we have lost to COVID-19,” said Fourth District Councilperson Eric Bunch. “Our hope is that we take this day to recommit ourselves to staying healthy by washing our hands, masking up, and socially distancing from one another.”
Speakers will include President and CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial Matthew Naylor, Bunch and aide Crissy Dastrup, Dr. Rex Archer of the Kansas City Health Department (KCHD), and Justice Horn from President-Elect Biden’s Missouri Transition Team.
Simultaneously, United States President-Elect Joe Biden will take part in a ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial’s Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., joined by cities across the country to light up their buildings for a National Day of Remembrance.
“It’s important to acknowledge the very real impact this pandemic has had on our community members,” Dastrup said. “The past ten months have brought about unimaginable trauma to so many families, but have also revealed our communities ability to serve and uplift in times of tragedy.”
The ceremony is intended to serve as an opportunity for citizens across the nation to participate in a moment of unity and remembrance for those lost to COVID-19. There will also be a flag dedicated to every person lost on the Lincoln Memorial lawn.
“Both Republican and Democratic cities and capitals have committed to this bipartisan effort, as COVID affects all of us,” Horn said.
The Jackson County Health Department has reported record low rates of response to their COVID-19 survey, which helps triage folks for vaccine access.
City leaders remind residents of Kansas City they can sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine by completing available surveys through the Kansas City, Jackson County and other metro area Health Departments. Veterans can sign up at the VA by calling 816-922-2619.
The KCHD website outlines that because of limited supply, not everyone in the high-risk groups (Phase 1B Tier 2) will get a call or email right away to set an appointment, but more doses will be coming. The KCHD is still serving and prioritizing those in the first tiers: Phase 1A and Phase 1B Tier 1. This includes health care staff that assist patients, but who have not yet been vaccinated. They will contact those who complete the survey to schedule an appointment.