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Bells will ring from Utah Capitol Building in honor of lives lost from COVID-19

Utah State Capitol building in August 2020. (Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah will join several states across the country Tuesday in ringing bells from its Capitol building to honor those who lost their lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The move is part of a national memorial initiated by President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee. 

The bells will ring 15 times at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, in honor of the 1,500 Utahns who have died from the coronavirus. 

“We will never forget the heavy toll this deadly virus has taken in this state, and we pray for comfort and peace to the families and friends left behind,” Gov. Spencer Cox said in a statement. “We hope all Utahns will join in honoring those we have lost during this national moment of remembrance.”

The ringing bells is part of a larger movement, as capitol buildings across the U.S. honor the lives lost during the pandemic. 

The memorial will take place at 5:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. MST, with the president-elect encouraging states to light candles and take the moment to honor victims. The Washington, D.C., memorial will also hold a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. 

“The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris represents the beginning of a new national journey,” said Pill Tobar, the communications director for the committee, in a statement Thursday. “However, in the midst of a pandemic — when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbors — it is important that we honor those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in the nation’s history, and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation.”