CORONAVIRUS

National Cathedral Bell Tolls 400 Times To Mark Sobering COVID-19 Milestone

Each toll of the funeral bell honored 1,000 Americans who have died of coronavirus.

The funeral bells of the Washington National Cathedral tolled 400 times on Tuesday evening, marking more than 400,000 deaths across the nation from COVID-19.

The church paid tribute while President-elect Joe Biden, on the eve of his inauguration, led a somber ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial for the victims. Churches and communities around the country joined the memorial, lighting buildings to honor the lives lost.

“It’s hard sometimes to remember, but that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation,” Biden said in remarks with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The cathedral tolled its Bourdon Bell, one that’s typically used at funerals. It’s an expression of deep mourning and sorrow, according to the cathedral’s dean, the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, who said last year he hoped he wouldn’t have to use the bells to mark another coronavirus milestone.

The grim COVID-19 milestone was projected onto the National Cathedral to honor the pandemic's victims.
The grim COVID-19 milestone was projected onto the National Cathedral to honor the pandemic's victims.

The bell tolled 200 times in September to mark 200,000 lives, and 300 times in December, when the nation passed 300,000.

“God forgive us if we find ourselves tolling this bell again at 400,000 lives lost,” Hollerith said in a statement at the time.

The number 400,000 was projected onto the front of the cathedral Tuesday evening as 400 lights glowed on either side of the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.

The Washington National Cathedral tolled the Bourdon Bell 400 times, once for every thousand lives lost, as part of the Biden
The Washington National Cathedral tolled the Bourdon Bell 400 times, once for every thousand lives lost, as part of the Biden Inaugural Committee's COVID-19 Memorial: A National Moment of Unity and Remembrance.
Lights illuminated the Reflecting Pool after President-elect Joe Biden hosted a memorial to honor those who have died in the
Lights illuminated the Reflecting Pool after President-elect Joe Biden hosted a memorial to honor those who have died in the U.S. from the coronavirus.
Biden, Harris and their spouses honored the nation's COVID-19 victims as 400 lights glow between the Washington Monument and
Biden, Harris and their spouses honored the nation's COVID-19 victims as 400 lights glow between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.
The memorial took place on the eve of Inauguration Day, which will look dramatically different from any other due to the pand
The memorial took place on the eve of Inauguration Day, which will look dramatically different from any other due to the pandemic and intense security measures after an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

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