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COVID Memorials Going Up At Malls in Lansing, Jackson

Freddy Garzy memorial photo
Courtesy photo
Footprints of Michigan COVID Memorial project
Freddy Garza died from coronavirus in November. His name is among those memorialized at the Westwood Mall in Jackson.

A memorial for Michiganders who have died from COVID-19 is going up today at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Lansing Mall.

The Michigan COVID Memorial is a project by the organization Footprints of Michigan. Paper hearts bearing the names of those who have died during the pandemic have already started going up at the Westwood Mall in Jackson. A second memorial is at the Lansing Mall, and there may be others around the state in the future.

Organizer Cheryl Garza’s husband Freddy died on November 8th. She explains "this is just giving people a place to say ‘this was my loved one, this was my person, this was significant other, this was my child.”

Freddy Garza's mother, Laura Canfield, is also helping organize the memorial. “We are putting people’s names on hearts, that have passed from COVID, that are from Michigan or have ties to Michigan" Canfield says, "and we’ll be placing those on a wall as a memorial so that the names are remembered instead of them just being a number.”

The Michigan COVID Memorial Facebook page has information on how to submit the name of someone to be included. You can also call (877) 811-7463, extension 803.

Michigan has reported more than 16,000 coronavirus deaths.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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