Convention Center Spires Honor COVID-19 Victims

As part of a national memorial to remember and honor those Americans who have died of COVID-19, the Oregon Convention Center will be lighted in red, white, and blue Tuesday, January 19.

Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson requested the lighting as part of President-elect Joe Biden’s effort to recognize the roughly 400,000 Americans who have now died of COVID. The number of dead will soon surpass the number of Americans killed in all of World War II, making the COVID-19 epidemic the third most deadly tragedy in American history, after the 1918 Influenza outbreak and the U.S. Civil War.

“The Convention Center’s spires will be illuminated in red, white, and blue, to honor those Americans who are no longer with us, but also to remind us that our nation has faced other challenging times and can emerge stronger when we pull together and understand our intertwined fate,” said Vega Pederson.

Communities throughout the country are expected to take part in the memorial, which officially begins at 5:30 ET on January 19, and will include a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington D.C. Organizers are inviting cities and towns across the country to illuminate buildings and ring church bells at 5:30 ET in a moment of unity and remembrance.

The Convention Center will be lighted all evening in honor of those lives lost, which includes over 1,800 Oregonians.

“The past year has been a terrible one, one of loss, for the families of nearly 400,000 Americans. On January 19, we will be joining President-elect Biden’s call for a reflection of the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic by lighting the Oregon Convention Center spires in red, white and blue,” said Metro Council President Lynn Peterson, who oversees the Convention Center.

“The Oregon Convention Center spires shine as our community beacon of hope. Tuesday they illuminate in honor of the lives lost due to the pandemic. I am proud to share that our center has begun providing health care providers a community gathering place to deploy COVID-19 vaccinations. There is light ahead,” said Craig Stroud, the Oregon Convention Center's executive director.

Source: Multnomah County

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