Flag installation honoring victims of COVID set for March 27; new hotline to help now open

Posted at 6:12 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 00:12:28-04

LAFYAETTE, La. - A flag installation will be held March 27 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Anthony's Catholic Church to honor all those who have died from COVID in Lafayette Parish.

The idea started a couple of months ago when Stacey Conrad saw that American Trail in New Orleans was putting out white flags for all of the people who have died in New Orleans due to COVID. "I actually just shared a post and said why aren't we doing this in Lafayette and my co-founder Allie Roberts said, 'Why aren't we? Let's do it," and within about 48 hours, we had our first Memorial set up at St. Barnabas Church and this will be our fourth installation in Lafayette," said Conrad, who is with the Acadiana COVID Memorial Committee.

"It's a good visual so people driving by can see a flag for every single death. When you hear the words 250, it's a lot, but that's 250 people in our community that have died," said Conrad. "And when you drive by and you see all of these flags it just gives you a good visual as to why why masks and vaccines and mitigating this virus is so important."

Conrad said they will do as many of the memorials as they can.

"When people call us, we start to get into action, it takes us about a week to plan and get it together, we typically have a sponsor. This one is Representative Pierre. He graciously agreed to sponsor this one. We've had Senator Gerald Boudreaux sponsor a couple and it's just something that the community really enjoys. It's a place for them to come out and grieve the loss of their loved ones, especially those who were not able to go to funerals in the beginning because of restrictions."

"We thought that this would be a great way to memorialize those people that have passed away within this past year," said Vincent Pierre, State Rep. Dist. 44.

Conard is also one of the administrators for the new COVID vaccine hotline that helps people who don't have internet access or helps the illiterate community to schedule their appointment.

The hotline volunteers will also be at St. Anthony's on the 27th to help schedule vaccines in the area for people. They will also be handing out free masks.

The COVID Memorial Vaccine Hotline for scheduling an appointment is 337-362-0777.

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