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OPINION

Giving shape to grief: COVID-19 memorials from around the world

From paint to stone to light, from Brazil to Worcester, people honor those who died of COVID-19.

ZELLA-MEHLIS, GERMANY: A woman lights candles forming a giant cross in memory of COVID-19 victims in Germany on April 17, 2020.Jens Meyer/Associated Press

How does a community express the loss of so many, while honoring individual lives taken? These 16 monuments, installations, and movements embody remembrance and mourning.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC: A woman rides a bicycle across thousands of crosses painted at the Old Town Square on March 22, 2021. The crosses were painted to to commemorate the 1-year anniversary of the death of first Czech COVID-19 patient.Petr David Josek
HOLLISTON, MASS.: Flags with names of people who have died from COVID-19 are displayed outside the First Congressional Church on June 17, 2021. The flags are part of the COVID Art and Remembrance project spearheaded by Jaclyn Winer, whose father, Keith Jacobs, died in April 2020 from the coronavirus.Elise Amendola/Associated Press
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: Demonstrators dance in an alley adorned with pinwheels that represent people who have died of COVID-19 during a memorial event on Oct. 6, 2021.Andre Penner/Associated Press
JOHNSTOWN, PENN.: More than 300 candle luminaries — each representing a Cambria County resident who died from COVID-19 —are shown on a river wall near the historic Stone Bridge on Jan. 19, 2021. John Rucosky/Associated Press
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL: A woman places her hand near the name of a person who died of COVID-19, one of many on a memorial in honor of the victims of the new coronavirus, on Nov. 15, 2021.BRUNA PRADO/Associated Press


BANDUNG, WEST JAVA: A health worker pays her respects on Dec. 4, 2021 to a late colleague who died from Covid-19, at a memorial dedicated to health workers who lost their lives while fighting the pandemic.TIMUR MATAHARI/AFP via Getty Images
LONDON: A man writes a message on the National Covid Memorial Wall on March 28, 2022.TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images
GREIFSWALD, GERMANY: People light about 1,500 candles on Jan. 17, 2022, in memory of those who have died from COVID-19 in Germany's northeast region.Stefan Sauer/Associated Press
ESPARZA, C0STA RICA: Ana Victoria Vasquez, left, wife of Juan Luis Nunez, who died of COVID-19, plants a small tree in his memory on Feb. 14, 2022. The San Ramon Carbon Neutral Foundation carries out the Healing Trees initiative to plant five million trees worldwide, to pay tribute to all the people who have died from COVID-19.EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP via Getty Images
SALVADOR, BAHIA, BRAZIL: Visitors walk through the Memorial of Stars, a Christmas illumination in honor of deceased victims of COVID-19, on Nov. 26, 2021.ANTONELLO VENERI/AFP via Getty Images
NEW YORK CITY: COVID-19 survivors gather at City Hall Park and place stickers representing lost relatives on a wall after marching across the Brooklyn Bridge on Aug. 7, 2021.Stefan Jeremiah/Associated Press
LOS ANGELES, CALIF.: A person wearing a face covering walks past a white flag memorial installation outside Griffith Observatory honoring the nearly 27,000 Los Angeles County residents who have died from COVID-19, on Nov. 18, 2021.Mario Tama/Getty
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: A woman adjusts flowers at a memorial honoring the victims of COVID-19, with their names written on rocks, outside the government house on Oct. 18, 2021.Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press
WASHINGTON, DC: National Nurses United held a candlelight vigil outside the White House on Jan. 13, 20200 to memorialize and honor all of the nurses who died from COVID-19.Joy Asico/Associated Press
WORCESTER, MASS.: A plaque on the COVID-19 memorial in Elm Park.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff