COVID-19 Memorial in Reeve Union will honor lost loved ones

Katie Pulvermacher, Staff Writer

Courtesy of the Division of Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence

The Division of Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence (ASIE) is inviting members of the Oshkosh community to commemorate their loved ones that they have lost due to COVID-19 in a “COVID-19 Memorial,” which will later be displayed in the Reeve Memorial Union second-floor gallery between April and May of 2021.

“The goal of this memorial is to collect stories from the UW-Oshkosh community from all three campuses on the loss of their loved ones,” UWO Senior Amanda Martinez said. “Personally, I want community members to know we understand they are hurting and that this is a space they are able to share their grief with others who are grieving as well.”

Hitting the one year mark of the pandemic in the U.S., and to honor those who have passed, ASIE invites the community to share their loved ones’ stories by filling out the link sent to student and staff emails.

Martinez is a member of this project and her main role is to create the posters that are submitted by UWO community members through the form sent out on behalf of ASIE. These posters will not only be posted on the second floor of Reeve, but also on social media through the ASIE Facebook page and on the ASIE website, at the consent of the community member.

To ensure the story of your lost loved one is shared by the initial phase of the project, fill out the link mentioned above by March 26. Submissions thereafter will be accepted on a rolling basis for subsequent phases of the project.

The Winnebago County of Wisconsin Health Department has shared that there have been 182 confirmed deaths in the county, while the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows the total number of deaths in Wisconsin is 6,539, as of Tuesday evening.

Cases in Winnebago County have significantly dropped since the fall and January and February of this year, but it is important to still take precautions to stay safe and keep others safe.

“Although this memorial may be difficult for community members to process because of the lives that have been lost, I hope the memorial is able to bring the community together and help begin the healing process,” Martinez said. “I hope this memorial further encourages people to continue to follow the health measures put in place to prevent further tragedy from the COVID-19 pandemic.”