WATCH: COVID-19 memorial for lives lost in US

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke at a COVID-19 memorial Tuesday evening.

The memorial ceremony planned to include illuminating buildings, ringing church bells around the nation and a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pool in Washington, D.C. It paid tribute to the 400,000 lives lost in the U.S. to COVID-19.

Elsewhere in D.C., at exactly 5:30 p.m., the funeral bell at the Washington National Cathedral began to toll 400 times, one for each 1,000 lives lost to COVID-19.

A sparse crowd in small knots of families and friends gathered on the grounds of the cathedral, many looking up or pointing cell phone cameras at the central bell tower, where the 12-ton Bourdon bell mournfully tolled.

“It’s really sad that this many American lives have been lost. I’ve lost relatives and had family members affected and it shouldn’t have been this way,” said Jeanette Martinez of D.C.

Dressed in his purple cassock, the dean of the cathedral greeted some visitors in the grassy park in front of the cathedral’s main doors.

“While I’m quite hopeful about the vaccine and so thrilled by all the incredible work that our doctors, nurses and first responders have done, there’s a deep sadness with so much loss in our country,” said Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral.

For a full list of inaugural events, visit More information about the memorial ceremony can be found at

Watch video from the event that Biden and Harris attended below.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report.


More Videos

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up