Los Angeles city flags will fly at half-staff to honor the more than 500,000 people in the U.S. who have died of COVID-19, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday.
"More than 500,000 lives taken by COVID-19: it's a loss that's almost incomprehensible. Yet behind this number are names; behind these statistics, stories; behind these figures, families missing a loved one at the dinner table and confronting a world now incomplete,'' Garcetti said in a statement Monday.
"Here in Los Angeles (County), this merciless virus has extinguished nearly 20,000 souls -- the friend or co-worker who greeted you with a smile each morning; the parent who tucked their kids in tight each night; the abuela, the restaurant owner, the barber, the classmate, the very pillars of our communities.
"Every one of them left an imprint on our hearts, and it's in their honor that we lower our flags tonight. It's in their memories we must approach the months ahead with a renewed sense of resilience and resolve -- because like so much in this unprecedented year, what happens next, how many lives are saved, how many people are vaccinated, how soon we defeat this pandemic, all of it is up to us.''
Garcetti did not specify how long the flags will fly at half-staff. President Joe Biden and other leaders around the nation have also ordered flags to fly at half-staff to honor coronavirus victims.