As part of a national effort to remember those lost to COVID-19, residents and faith communities in Lincoln County will hold a drive-by memorial on the Wiscasset common from 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19 to honor those in Maine and around the nation who have died from COVID-19. As of Jan. 11, 438 people in Maine have died, according to Maine CDC. Nationwide, the count stands at more than 374,000.
For the drive-by memorial, signs marking the number of deaths in each of Maine’s 16 counties, the entire state and the nation will be held along Route 1, starting at Lincoln County Courthouse and wrapping around the common.
“Although this pandemic has touched all of us, none have felt the pain as deeply as the families and loved ones of the hundreds of Mainers and hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died from COVID-19,” said one of the organizers, Kelli Whitlock Burton of Waldoboro. “We want to honor those individuals in a way that allows people to join together in spirit as a community, without actually congregating, in order to keep our neighbors safe.”
Residents can participate either by driving by the memorial in Wiscasset, placing a candle or light in a window, lighting up their businesses, asking their town office to light up civic buildings, or asking their place of worship to ring bells at 5:30 p.m.
“Our church bell has long called to people. The bell has called people to worship and to join our hearts in celebrations. The bell has also called people to mourn and remember,” said Rev. Josh Fitterling, minister of First Congregational Church in Wiscasset, which will ring its bell at 5:30 p.m. as part of the national memorial. “On the 19th, our bell will join bells around the country as they ring out in remembrance and in honor of lives cut short by this terrible virus."