Rialto intends to designate a space at its Willow Avenue cemetery to honor those who have died of COVID-19.
City leaders on Tuesday, Feb. 22, proposed placing a bench inscribed with a message remembering local victims of the disease beneath a covered, cemented patio area.
Elected officials also sought to give families who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus the opportunity to buy personalized bricks for installation around the bench.
City officials will return at a later date with cost estimates.
As of Feb. 16, 369 Rialto residents had died of COVID-19, according to a staff report prepared for the City Council.
Such a solemn space would provide surviving family members “a place to reflect and have some peace,” Councilman Rafael Trujillo said Tuesday.
And, Councilman Ed Scott added, affording families the chance to etch their relative’s name in brick – an option offered at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. – makes the memorial vastly more personal.
On March 11, 2021, in observance of the coronavirus pandemic’s one-year anniversary, the city remembered locals who had died of the disease by putting small white crosses with red ribbons in a grass median downtown.
City officials intend to do the same next month on the second anniversary.