Joe Biden and Kamala Harris hold memorial ceremony for Covid-19 victims

Washington DC - Joe Biden and Kamala Harris paid tribute to the more than 400,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19 during a solemn ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington DC on Tuesday afternoon.

President-elect Joe Biden, from right, wife Jill Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and husband Douglas Emhoff standing at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
President-elect Joe Biden, from right, wife Jill Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and husband Douglas Emhoff standing at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.  © imago images / UPI Photo

The memorial service in the nation's capital came just hours after the US surpassed a grim milestone of 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, by far the highest fatality rate related to Covid-19 in the world.

"To heal, we must remember," Biden said in a brief speech. "It’s hard sometimes to remember, but that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation."

Kamala Harris echoed that sentiment in her own remarks. "Tonight, we grieve and begin healing together," she said.

Biden’s inaugural committee described the memorial as "a chance to reflect and honor those no longer with us." He called for a "national moment of unity," asking Americans to take part by lighting candles in their windows.

With the Reflecting Pool as a backdrop and 400 lights lit up to honor the 400,000 lost lives, Lori Marie Key, a 29-year-old nurse from Livonia, Michigan, sang Amazing Grace to open the proceedings.

Gospel singer Yolanda Adams followed Biden with her own version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, and Cardinal Wilton Gregory gave an invocation.

Biden's and Harris' official inauguration as US President and Vice president, respectively, will take place later today.

Cover photo: imago images / UPI Photo

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