President-elect Biden to lead ceremony to honor COVID-19 victims; how will Florida participate?

ORLANDO, Fla. — Leading up to his inauguration on Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden plans to lead the first nationwide memorial to honor the victims of COVID-19.

The event will be held across the country at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

In Orlando, the onePULSE Foundation will participate in the ceremony by lighting the Pulse Interim Memorial in light amber.

Biden will lead the ceremony from Washington, D.C., which will feature lights around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. This is the first-time that lighting around the Reflecting Pool has memorialized American lives lost.

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“The Presidential Inauguration Committee is inviting cities and towns around the country to join Washington, D.C., in illuminating buildings and ringing church bells at 5:30 p.m. ET in a national moment of unity and remembrance,” the committee said.

In Tallahassee, the Florida Capitol will be illuminated amber at the request of Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

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“As part of President-elect Biden’s and Vice President-elect Harris’ inauguration, state capitols and city halls across America are being lit in recognition of the lives lost to COVID-19,” Fried said. “More than 24,000 Floridians have perished from this pandemic, leaving behind shattered families and communities. It’s my honor to request that Florida’s Capitol be lit in their memory, with hope for brighter days ahead.”

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“The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris represents the beginning of a new national journey,” PIC communications director Pili Tobar said. “However, in the midst of a pandemic, when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, it is important that we honor those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in the nation’s history, and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation.”

Here are some of the ways you and your city can get involved:

– Light a candle in your window and join fellow Americans for this national moment of remembrance.

– Light up city buildings at 5:30 local time in a light amber color.

– Ring a bell at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday during the national ceremony to join in a collective moment of remembrance.

Tune in at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday for a ceremony with Biden and Harris

– Join the Facebook event to get the latest updates and share the word and invite your family, friends, and loved ones to the COVID-19 memorial.