MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery County leaders remembered the hundreds of lives lost to COVID-19 with a memorial bell toll at St. John’s Episcopal Church Thursday evening.
For every toll of the tower bells, a local life lost to COVID-19 was remembered.
“The lives we’ve lost will always be remembered, and the sadness of that experience can never, never be anything but dramatic,” said Town of Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone. ”At no time as we go forth in history should we ever take this lightly. Many lessons have been learned. Many ways of going about doing our daily tasks and particularly as it relates to our businesses -have been changed and impacted.”
The chimes echoed through downtown Montgomery 500 times in honor of over 500 lives in Montgomery County lost to the virus over the past year, as well as the over 500,000 lives lost across the United States.
“By ringing these bells we will remember those lives that we’ve lost. We remember those friends, those family members, those co-workers, church members, and many others that we’ve lost to this disease,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed. “We know going forward we must continue to pray not only for our community, but for this state, and for this nation.”
Montgomery County Commission Chairmen Elton Dean sent a message to those in the community to continue to stay protected as more people pass from the deadly virus.
“I want to encourage you, even though the Governor is saying there will be no more mask (mandate) in the state, to protect yourself,” Dean said. “We will still be protecting our employees and the citizens of Montgomery.”
As we begin to see a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, local leaders remind the community to not give up hope.
“We will get through this together and we will come out of this stronger on the other side,” Reed said.
The tower bells rang out in remembrance for nearly 25 minutes.
As of Thursday, of the nearly 180,000 people in Montgomery County, over 27,000 people have been fully vaccinated.