Memorial service to honor those lost to COVID-19

July 12, 2021

A public memorial service will pay tribute to Richland County residents lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The service will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 15 outside the Richland County Administration Building, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia.

“Next Thursday, we will pause to take time to reflect on the past 16 months,” said County Councilwoman Gretchen Barron, who chairs the Council’s Coronavirus Ad Hoc Committee. “This is a time for our County to pay tribute to those who lost their lives to COVID-19, to be grateful for those who survived and thankful for those essential workers who helped us through this difficult time.

“As someone who lost their brother to this deadly disease, I know personally that we will never forget, but we can heal as we move forward to better days,” Barron said.

The dedication from a memorial plaque will be read aloud during the service.

Along with honoring those who died, this plaque will pay tribute to those who experienced hardship because of the pandemic, as well as frontline workers in various fields who put the community before themselves, among others. The marker will be installed in the lobby of the Administration Building next to a plaque memorializing victims of the 2015 flood event.

The COVID-19 memorial service also will include a wreath-laying ceremony and a moment of silence for lives lost. Speakers will include:

  • County Councilmembers Paul Livingston, Gretchen Barron and Yvonne McBride
  • Dennis Bannister, a Richland County resident who lost a relative to COVID-19
  • Bishop Herbert Bailey Jr., a County resident who survived the disease

Free parking will be available in the back lot of the Administration Building off Lady Street.

In the event of severe weather, the service will be moved to the Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor St., Columbia.