US honors American lives lost to COVID-19: Photos

The nation mourns the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

January 19, 2021, 6:31 PM

On the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration as president of the United States, he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris participated in a national memorial at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor the more than 400,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19.

PHOTO: Lights surround the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, placed as a memorial to COVID-19 victims, Jan. 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Lights surround the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, placed as a memorial to COVID-19 victims, Jan. 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Alex Brandon/AP
PHOTO: The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19, 2021, during a vigil to honor the lives of those lost to COVID-19.
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19, 2021, during a vigil to honor the lives of those lost to COVID-19.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
PHOTO: President-elect Joe Biden with his wife Jill Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris with her husband Doug Emhoff listen to Cardinal Wilton Daniel Gregory speak during a COVID-19 memorial, Jan. 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
With the Washington Monument in the background, President-elect Joe Biden with his wife Jill Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris with her husband Doug Emhoff listen to Cardinal Wilton Daniel Gregory speak during a COVID-19 memorial, Jan. 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Evan Vucci/AP

The inaugural committee encouraged Americans to join in the memorial by lighting candles in their windows and ringing bells. The event, billed as “A National Moment of Unity and Remembrance,” included the first-ever lighting of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in memory of the lives lost. Leaders across the country were asked to light up city buildings in amber and ring church bells.

PHOTO: President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a COVID-19 memorial, with lights placed around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Jan. 19, 2021.
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a COVID-19 memorial, with lights placed around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Jan. 19, 2021.
Alex Brandon/AP
PHOTO:The Empire State Building is lit as part of a national memorial to lives lost to COVID-19 in New York, Jan. 19, 2021.
The Empire State Building is lit as part of a national memorial to lives lost to COVID-19 in New York, Jan. 19, 2021.
Frank Franklin II/AP

The 400,000 American deaths due to the coronavirus are greater than the number of U.S. soldiers that died in battle during World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined, an analysis of data compiled by the Department of Veterans Affairs shows. Tragically, the U.S. leads the world in the number of coronavirus cases and the number of deaths.

"To heal, we must remember," Biden told the country. "It's hard sometimes to remember, but that's how we heal. It's important to do that as a nation."

PHOTO: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and the House Democratic leadership, hold COVID-19 memorial and lighting ceremony on the steps of the Capitol, Jan. 19, 2021.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and the House Democratic leadership, hold COVID-19 memorial and lighting ceremony on the steps of the Capitol, Jan. 19, 2021. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., right, and Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., left.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
PHOTO: Doves are illuminated in LED lights on the side of The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Jan. 19, 2021, in Hollywood, Fla.
Doves are illuminated in LED lights on the side of The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Jan. 19, 2021, in Hollywood, Fla., as part of the Biden-Harris inauguration's national moment of unity and remembrance for the more American lives lost to COVID-19.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
PHOTO:The Washington National Cathedral honors the 400,000 U.S. lives lost to COVID-19 with a light display and tolling the Bourdon Bell 400 times, once for every thousand lives lost on Jan. 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
The Washington National Cathedral honors the 400,000 U.S. lives lost to COVID-19 with a light display and tolling the Bourdon Bell 400 times, once for every thousand lives lost, as part of the Biden Inaugural Committee's COVID-19 Memorial: "A National Moment of Unity and Remembrance" on Jan. 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events