City of Charleston, area churches honor COVID-19 victims with ringing of bells, lighting of buildings


CHARLESTON, S.C (WCBD) – City of Charleston leaders gathered to remember the lives lost to COVID-19. Community and faith leaders are hoping to remember the more than 400,000 lives lost to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Churches across the city and country tolled their bells at 5:30pm while others joined in by lighting the exterior of buildings.

It’s part of a memorial that happened across the greater Charleston area and the country in hopes of providing support to those hit hardest by COVID-19. For those missing a loved one, they say it’s the best way to move forward.

“You just never realize the little things that you miss like taking the trash out and also his laughter and us joking around,” says Peyton Brown whose father passed away from COVID-19 just before Thanksgiving.

The passing of loved ones from COVID-19 is something all of us are having to come to terms with more and more often. Faith leaders from the Charleston community are hoping a unified front will bring comfort to those missing a loved one.

“And we understand that there are so many who have a testimony of an empty seat,” says Mother Emanuel Senior Pastor Eric Manning.

Churches and organizations here at home and across the nation remembered the lives lost. Case numbers and death tolls continue to rise. 400,000 deaths nationwide, more than five thousand in South Carolina and thousands in Charleston County.

“It’s an opportunity for the entire community to come together to share with those families who have been impacted,” says Pastor Manning.

Bells soon to ring out, buildings lit bright all carrying the memory of each live lost in hopes of providing comfort to those hurting.

“We wanted to participate in the event tonight as a form of solidarity, not just with the City of Charleston, not just with the State of South Carolina but also with the entire nation,” says Pastor Manning.

An empty place setting around the table, bearing the grief of a pain all to familiar for so many families.

“Each family does have a testimony of an empty seat and we don’t necessarily know their pain but we can be there to at least provide comfort and let them know that they are not alone,” says Pastor Manning.

In a year unlike any other, leaders are hopeful a unified front will provide a light of new opportunity.

“We are all a part of humanity and we can all get through this together,” says Pastor Manning.

The events were part of a large moment of recognition put on around the country coinciding with events organized by President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration team.

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