For just over three weeks, hundreds of white flags blanketed D.C.’s National Mall in a solemn reminder of the COVID-19 pandemic’s massive — and ongoing — cost in American lives.
“In America: Remember” memorialized the more than 700,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 as of early October. Artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg created the exhibit, which ran from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3.
In a conversation with WTOP, Firstenberg shared her reflections on the installation and what it meant for her. Jessica Balthazar — an ICU nurse who worked in Queens, New York, at the height of the pandemic — also shared her thoughts on the thousands of white flags that stood across the Mall.
Find the podcast below, accompanied by photography and video from WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez.
Editor’s note: The images below were taken on Sept. 25, 2021, when the confirmed U.S. death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic stood at 684,428. On Oct. 2 — one week later — that figure surpassed 700,000 and continues to climb, despite the availability of vaccines to forestall serious illness.