By Margaret Townsend
Alexandria, VA – Alexandria Remembrance, a temporary COVID-19 memorial in Rivergate Park, continues to spark attention and reflection from the city, the region, and the world. Memorial volunteer Mace Carpenter recalls a moving encounter he had while tending to the memorial.
“I was completing maintenance on the memorial when an elderly gentleman approached me,” says Mace. “He was from Kuwait and visiting Alexandria. He wanted to thank the city for recognizing those who had succumbed to the disease and having the memorial in multiple languages. He said he believed all nations should do this and that we needed to be united in getting rid of COVID. We discussed the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in 1990. I let him know I fought in the skies over Kuwait to help return that nation to the Kuwaiti people. He was grateful to the U.S. for its support of his nation. After taking pictures of the site, he smiled, waved, and walked away.”
Alexandria Remembrance will remain in place until June 21, 2021. Throughout its installation, countless people have stopped to reflect on the memorial’s message of remembrance, sadness, and love. We are less as a city with the passing of those who have died from COVID-19, but this memorial has added something to the community.