The “In America: How Could This Happen…” exhibit continues to grow as members of the local community stop to pay their respects to those who’ve lost their lives to COVID-19 in the U.S. so far.
A new public art installation honoring the lives lost to the pandemic has gone up in the District. Created by local artist, Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, “In America: How Could This Happen…” reflects on the “country’s immense loss” due to the pandemic and makes it visible with a field of over 220,000 white flags, one for every COVID-19 death. The exhibit, located on the DC Armory Parade ground is also meant to serve as a space of national mourning according to the artist, one that will continue to grow as members of the local community add more flags in remembrance of their loved ones.
Brennan Firstenberg was inspired to create the sprawling community art installation in August after hearing that 170,000 deaths were just a statistic. “My 25 years of hospice volunteering taught me every life is valuable, no death is just a statistic,” she notes on her website.
The art exhibit opened on Friday, October 23, for public planting of flags with over 222,000 flags and is expected to grow to the chilling number of 240,000 flags during its two-week run. Flags will be added daily as the death toll rises. DC residents who have lost loved ones to coronavirus are also being invited to plant flags and personalize them with the names of their family members. Public planting of course is being carried out observing social distance rules and masks are mandatory for all visitors.
The exhibit will remain outside the RFK Stadium until Friday, November 6. For those wishing to plant flags or simply pay their respects to those who have lost the battle against coronavirus, the installation opens from 11 a.m. through sunset from Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. until sunset over the weekend. Visitors’ check-in is at the reception tent on the DC Armory Parade Ground located across from RFK Parking Lot #3.
See also: A New Statue Honoring Women In The Military Has Been Unveiled At Arlington National Cemetery
[Featured image: Twitter/ In America Flags]