Outisde the D.C. Armory in Washington D.C., thousands and thousands of small white flags are planted where they stand and sway all at once as the wind blows.
223,059 were. planted as of last Friday, and each flag represents an American who died from Covid-19.
“It’s just so evocative,” says Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, the Bethesda-based artist behind this public art installation.
Firstenberg began plans for the piece in March and had spent up to two months getting the needed approvals for installing her work at the area.
However, the motive for it all started a few weeks into the pandemic when she heard Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggest that elderly Americans could be willing to succumb to the virus in order to preserves the U.S. economy. This didn’t sit well with Firstenberg and she was left horrified by the statement.
“I know how valuable each life is, because I’ve had the opportunity — the honor — to be with people at a very difficult time in their lives, as they’re saying goodbye,” Firstenberg, who has spent 25 years as a hospice volunteer said.