FAIRMONT, WV – Different congregations and denominations in the city of Fairmont held the first Community COVID Memorial Service in the state of West Virginia.
On Sunday afternoon, Dozens of people gathered at the Windmill Park under the pavilion to share their grief and mourn together over their losses during the pandemic.
People were able to hear from pastors from all denominations in the area, Morning Star Baptist Church Choir, political reporter Mark Curtis and more.
First Baptist Church Pastor Valerie Gittings said they decided to do this memorial service in Marion County because they had several terrible losses.
“I think the first person in the state to lose their life to Covid was a woman from Marion County and that loss, that sense of things just changing so incredibly, that has caused us to feel the need to get together,” described Gittings. “To be in one another’s presence.”
At the service, Mark Curtis announced that 52 people passed away from COVID-19 in Marion County but could only name four publicly.
“It’s a sad thing but we have been joined together by our grief and so now it’s a time we can maybe join together in healing,” explained Grittings.
The Greater Fairmont Area Council of Churches, The Pastoral Alliance for Social Justice and Change, and Communities of Shalom, Inc, and the Appalachian Counseling Center are encouraging people to speak people’s names that were lost, talk and connect to help everyone get past the pandemic.