Rio Grande Valley sisters organize COVID-19 memorial in Harlingen

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A unique memorial for COVID-19 victims was held in Harlingen on Monday.

Jennifer and Bettina Gonzales organized a mobile memorial in honor of their father who was a truck driver.

"Losing my dad to COVID, and any death to COVID, it just happened so suddenly and so unexpected,” said Bettina Gonzales. “It's hard to find somewhere where people understand your pain."

Inside the truck, 1,000 roses adorned the walls, representing some of the people who have lost their lives to the coronavirus in the Rio Grande Valley. On the other side is murals, which show the pain of losing a loved one.

RELATED: Rio Grande Valley siblings who lost father to COVID-19 respond to Biden's coronavirus plan 

One mural depicted how Bettina and Jennifer said their last goodbyes to their father over Facetime. Another depicted a nurse being the only person there for the COVID-19 patient.

Roses were donated by Harlingen High School and the Harlingen Public Library, along with donations from the public.

“We had 800 roses coming straight out of Brownsville,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer Gonzales said the sisters brought out the memorial to urge lawmakers to make March 1 a national holiday to honor COVID-19 victims.

"Just to let people know that it is very important to people who have lost a loved one to COVID, to have that space to breathe and remember."

Though the installation had 1,000 roses, they're thousands away from representing all of the coronavirus-related deaths in the Rio Grande Valley. If you would like to donate a rose, head to roseriver.memorial.


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