During the past two years, masks, social distancing and vaccinations have become prominent in our lives. But the strongest and most significant impact of COVID-19 is the loss of people we love—the irreplaceable friends and family members who have passed because of the virus. The windows on the southeast side of Edina City Hall are the site of a memorial to our city’s residents: One gold heart representing each citizen of Edina lost to COVID.
“I wanted to honor those in Edina who have died, as well as to draw attention to the severity of COVID here,” says Jennifer Bennerotte, communications director for the city of Edina, who designed the memorial. “Other towns were planning tributes, and I was starting to see our local numbers increase. The coronavirus was really affecting Edina.” Heidi Lillie, also on the city staff, participated in the creation of Edina’s COVID Memorial, too.
The tribute was initiated in the autumn of 2020, and until Memorial Day 2021 similar recognition was displayed at Southdale as well.
This simple-yet-thoughtful memorial is a poignant commemoration of Edina residents, as well as an acknowledgement to the public about presence of coronavirus in our own city. It serves as a reminder of the tragedies experienced by our neighbors and the shared loss throughout our community.
Contributed by Laura Westlund, a tour guide at the Weisman Art Museum and an art hound for Minnesota Public Radio