ST PETERSBURG, Fla. — What began with an Anna Maria Island woman tying ribbons to a string is now a memorial at the Morean Center for Clay, honoring Floridians who have died of COVID in the past year.
When the number of Florida COVID deaths rose to 16,000 back in November, Cathy Tobias knew she had to do something so she started tying ribbons to a string marking each life lost.
When it rose to 30,000 in February the ribbon memorial was spread across the beach, the purpose to visually show the number of lives lost.
Kathy Flora attended the COVID Ribbon Memorial at the beach after losing her 94-year-old mother to the virus last year.
"So, I went, I know I had to be part of it with all the other families and we could feel their spirits blowing in the breeze and rising up and that meant so much to me," said Flora.
Now the memorial is being displayed at the Morean Center for Clay in St. Pete.
Members of the public who have lost a loved one to COVID-19 are invited to grab a marker and write the name of a loved one they have lost on a ribbon. The purpose is for people to know they're not alone and to find healing together.