WATCH: Biden, Harris honor lives lost to COVID-19 (updated)

On the cusp of the historic inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the two will lead a nationwide effort to honor the more than 400,000 lives lost to COVID-19. Both are expected to speak at the observance, which comes a day before the two will be sworn into office at 10:00 am CST on Wednesday in front of the U.S. Capitol.

The Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC) is inviting cities and towns across the country to join Washington, D.C. in illuminating buildings and ringing church bells at 4:30 pm CST in a national moment of unity and remembrance. The Washington, D.C. ceremony will feature the first-ever lighting around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool—400 lights for each of the thousands who have succumbed to the virus.

In response, Gov.  Walz encourages all Minnesotans to light a candle in their window as a sign of remembrance and unity during these challenging times.

Also, as he’s done throughout 2020, Gov. Walz has ordered flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, to remember, mourn, and honor lives lost due to COVID-19.

“As of January 16, 2021, more than 5,887 of our parents, children, spouses, friends, and neighbors have passed due to COVID-19,” Gov. Walz said. “In honor of the Minnesotans we’ve lost, and those who are on the frontlines working tirelessly to protect our communities, we come together to light a candle, lower our flags, and commit to slowing the spread of this deadly virus.”

“Though the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine means the end of this long winter is in sight, the virus continues to cause heartbreak and loss every day,” Lieutenant Gov. Peggy Flanagan said. “Dig deep, Minnesota. We can get through this by keeping one another safe.”

You can watch live by going to bideninaugural.org/watch. For more on the national memorial event, go to BidenInaugural.org/covidmemorial. Find more inauguration events by going to bideninaugural.org/schedule.

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