Goshen memorial honoring local lives lost from COVID-19

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. – A gesture of care, that’s what one local pastor in Goshen is calling the week-long memorial display honoring those in the community who have died of COVID-19.

The idea to display hundreds of flags out on the lawn outside Elkhart County Courthouse came from Faith Mennonite Church member Cynthia Friesen, who wanted to find a way to acknowledge the pain and loss in the community this past year.

“This is what she came up with, just sort of a visual representation of those who have died,” Faith Mennonite Church Pastor Deron Bergstresser said.

Over 400 flags have been placed outside the Southwest lawn of the Elkhart County Courthouse Sunday afternoon. There are no names on display, just blue and white flags representing individuals who have died due to COVID-19.

“Many of us know someone who has died, and those who don’t still are aware of the grief and the pain that’s part of what’s going on in our world and in our community,” Bergstresser said.

There are 428 white flags, each representing a loved one who died in Elkhart County since March 29, 2020. There are also 40 blue flags that surround the white ones. They represent those who died outside of Elkhart County.

Bergstresser said the hope is that the display connects with the community members, especially since it's been a tough year and there has been lots of loss.

“We hope that people will take the time to remember those who have died, and to just be aware of the people in our community who are grieving,” Bergstresser said.

The display will be up until April 18, 2021.

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