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GOODLAND, Kan. (KWCH) – Nearly 700,000 flags in Washington, DC are on display to remember Americans who have died from COVID-19. Artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg said the “In America” memorial is designed to help put tragedy into perspective.

A widow from western Kansas and her daughter recently visited the memorial to honor someone special. Dennis Shank died of COVID-19 at the end of October last year. He was an accountant and a farmer. He also liked history.

“The irony that struck us all about all of this is that although he was a lover of history, now ironically he has become a part of the history of the world,” said the Shank’s wife, Gaylene Shank.

In September, Shank’s daughter, Tiffany Musil, discovered the Firstenberg-designed “In America” ​​memorial in honor of Americans who died from the virus. Musil had an idea.

“I knew I had to go and I played with the idea and finally texted my mom and my brother just asking them if I was crazy,” she said.

Gayle Shank said there wasn’t much to consider.

“It was either going there or regretting it for the rest of our lives. And we went there, ”she said.

Dennis Shank’s flag carries a message and waves in the wind near the Washington Monument. His wife and daughter describe the moment they saw him in person as a surreal scene.

The closing ceremonies took place on Sunday evening and Gaylene said the vivid memories of the trip to the nation’s capital will last forever.

“When the huge monument just becomes a backdrop, 700,000 flags, that’s when you have to realize what is receiving importance and attention right now,” she said. .

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