At the memorial service for over 10,000 Covid-19 victims, Beshear announces the artist and reveals the design of the permanent memorial

Daytime artist’s conception of the memorial designed by Amanda Matthews (copyright holder of the images)
Artistic conception of the memorial at dusk

In a memorial service for the more than 10,000 Kentucky residents whose deaths are attributed to Covid-19, the governor. Andy Beshear has announced that Lexington sculptor Amanda Matthews will create a permanent memorial at the Capitol.

Artistic conception of the nocturnal memorial, with
The Capitol dome and crown glow green in the background

An advisory committee that “included health care heroes, family members and loved ones of those who died and survived Covid-19, selected the final design for the memorial,” a press release from Beshear’s office said.

“As a native of Kentucky, Amanda’s pride and compassion for the people of the Commonwealth and the struggles that so many faced during the pandemic shines brightly on her personally and through this work,” the governor said. Beshear. “This piece will be expertly crafted, illustrating the Kentuckians’ willingness to unite for each other during this pandemic.”

The memorial will be titled “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” the state motto, which will appear on a chrome globe supported by a tree trunk surrounded by abstract human figures holding smaller chrome spheres. It will be built in an area that Beshear has designated as Monument Park, on the right front of the Capitol, near the vehicular entrance.

The press release said it “will commemorate Team Kentucky’s losses and sacrifices from March 2020 and will remind future generations of the challenges the Kentucky teams have overcome together.” Beshear used the “Team Kentucky” slogan of his 2019 election campaign to include various efforts of his administration, including the memorial.

The memorial will be surrounded by lights that will glow green as the sun sets, to symbolize empathy and compassion for the Kentuckians lost in the pandemic, and will traditionally be lit as night falls.

Matthews, artist and CEO of Prometeo foundry, has received commissions for several major projects, including the statue of pioneering black journalist Alice Dunnigan in Russellville and a memorial to New York City women now under construction. In May 2020, Beshear named Matthews to the state Oral History Commission.

Beshear said the major hospital companies Norton Healthcare, health baptist, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Healthcare system of the daughters of the king, Health of the UofL, UK Healthcare Other Pikeville Medical Center they are sponsoring the new monument, along with other donors for the commemorative fund. He did not disclose the cost.

“All of us, whether we have lost someone close to Covid or not, have been forever changed since these times,” Beshear said. “I believe that, to move forward fully and embrace the opportunities we see opening up in this Commonwealth, we must fully respect this moment in history that has challenged us in ways that few could have imagined just two years ago.”

At the memorial service, held at the Capitol due to the cold and windy weather, Beshear noted that the death toll approaches the number of Kentuckians lost in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined. “Our war against Covid is in many ways different from the wars fought by our brave soldiers,” he said, “but to achieve our ultimate victory, we must have the same urgency, unity and dedication to each other.” .

Others who spoke to the service were Dr. Philip in general of St. Claire Regional Medical Center at Morehead; Jamar Wattley, a nurse at Battista Salute La Grange; and Jacqueline Woodward of Franklin, who she lost her husband, Gary Woodward, at Covid-19 and was on the memorial advisory board.

“Today I’m here not only for my family and me, but also for all the families who have lost loved ones across the state of Kentucky,” Woodward said. “Those loved ones and I will forever have a bond that will unite us as we move on the new journey of life together – remembering loved ones who have meant so much to us and have given so much to Kentucky.”

Overall he said: “Together we have given everything we have for the men, women and children of the Commonwealth. Together we held their hands, prayed with them, gave them hope and worked tirelessly to give them the best possible care. Even during the darkest days of this pandemic, even during the peak of the waves, we stayed together. Let us remember that it is that unity that will see all of this and find us united as we work to put this battle behind us. “


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