Detroit is accepting photos of COVID-19 victims for memorial drive along Belle Isle next month

by

comment
A rendering of tribute boards along Belle Isle for Detroit Memorial Day on Aug. 31. - COURTESY OF THE CITY OF DETROIT'S OFFICE OF ARTS, CULTURE, AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  • Courtesy of the City of Detroit's Office of Arts, Culture, and Entrepreneurship
  • A rendering of tribute boards along Belle Isle for Detroit Memorial Day on Aug. 31.

In Michigan, more than 6,397 people have died of coronavirus since March, with 2,790 of those deaths in Wayne County. The city of Detroit, which made national news as an early hotspot for the virus' devastation, has said goodbye to 1,475 residents.

On Thursday, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan declared Aug. 31 as Detroit Memorial Day to honor those residents who lost their lives to the virus. The day will be commemorated by a two-day celebration of life, concluding with a citywide "Spirit Drive," where people can pay their respects via large photo boards, as submitted by the community, that will be placed along the route.



Ahead of the Spirit Drive, seven Detroit districts will hold twilight ceremonies at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 30. The memorial will begin at 7 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 31, at which point mourners will be assigned drive times after reporting to the staging area on Jefferson Avenue. At 8:45 a.m., southeast Michigan residents are asked to ring bells for 15 minutes to honor those lives lost. The drive will begin at 9 a.m. and will conclude at 4 p.m. when the island closes.

According to a press release, cars will not be permitted to stop along the route or pull off and park. Instead, they're urging residents to return home to watch the city's televised firework display — postponed from June and closed to the public. Many popular viewing areas throughout the city, including Hart Plaza and Belle Isle, will remain closed to prohibit large gatherings.



Those who wish to submit photos of the deceased may do so by July 31 by emailing detroitmemorial2020@gmail.com, or by digital upload, which can be done by visiting detroitmi.gov or detroitmi.gov/ace. Photos may also be sent by mail addressed to Detroit Memorial 2020 P.O. Box 21761 Detroit, MI, 48221 CC: Rochelle Riley. People will be given the photo boards to take home following the memorial.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.