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State Capitol ceremony honors Kentuckians lost to COVID-19

Posted at 11:57 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 23:57:08-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — An American flag representing each of the more than 3,000 Kentuckians who have died of COVID-19 was placed on State Capitol grounds Friday.

In a ceremony, Gov. Andy Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear and Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman placed the final three of 3,301 flags down, dedicating each to a specific Kentuckian.

Gov. Beshear dedicated his flag to Dr. Rebecca Shadowen, a Bowling Green infectious disease specialist. First Lady Britainy Beshear's flag was dedicated to Robert Duggan, a minister and Lt. Governor Coleman's flag was dedicated to Simone Parker, a Trigg County High School teacher.

"Every flag you see out here today represents a real Kentuckian, one who is loved by their families and their friends, who meant something to their communities that they lived in. Every single one. Every loss is heartbreaking," Gov. Beshear said.

The ceremony comes after Kentucky's highest single-day report of COVID-19 deaths Thursday, where the governor reported 58 new deaths.

"This commemoration shows that we remain in a very dangerous and still a very dark time," Gov. Beshear said. "With the pace of COVID-19's destruction at one of its highest points in the entire pandemic."

Vaccinations continue to offer hope for an end to the pandemic. In the meantime, Gov. Beshear said that Kentuckians can honor those who've died and their families by taking precautions against the spread of the virus.