FRANKFORT, Ky. — Friday afternoon, Kentuckians lost to COVID-19 were remembered in a ceremony at the State Capitol.
Gov. Andy Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman were on hand for a memorial flag ceremony on the Capitol grounds. Each laid flag to represent someone or a group, according to a news release.
“Every flag you see represents a real Kentuckian, one who was and is loved by their families and friends, who meant something to the communities in which they lived,” Gov. Beshear said. “Each and every loss is singular and heartbreaking.”
Gov. Beshear said the flag he placed was in honor of front-line health care workers lost to the coronavirus, including Dr. Rebecca Shadowen, a physician and infectious disease specialist in Bowling Green who was just 62 when she died of the coronavirus in early September of last year.
“I will be placing this flag in the ground for Dr. Rebecca Shadowen, and all of our health care heroes who have given their own lives during this pandemic to save others,” Gov. Beshear said. “This noble sacrifice cannot and will not be forgotten.”
The First Lady’s flag honors every parent, child and family member who has lost a loved one to this virus, including the Rev. Robert “Bob” Duggan, a husband, dad, grandad and longtime Presbyterian and United Methodist minister who was 81 when he died of COVID-19.
Lt. Gov. Coleman placed her flag in honor of educators lost to COVID-19.
“We grieve for the more than 3,000 Kentuckians who lost their lives to this virus. In a state as tight-knit as ours, one loss is too many; 3,000 is utterly devastating,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “I am dedicating my flag to the education community including Simone Parker, who taught science at Trigg County High School for 19 years and passed away two weeks ago.”
The Governor said that until more people are vaccinated, we remain in a dangerous time. The best way to honor those we have lost, he said, was to protect others.