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Hundreds of Flags at Hyannis Rotary to Honor Victims of COVID-19

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Flags will be placed at the Hyannis rotary — one for each person on Cape Cod who has died of COVID-19.

A Hyannis woman whose father died of COVID-19 is planning a memorial installation to honor Cape Codders who have lost their lives in the pandemic.

Denise Harris said she’ll place hundreds of flags at the Hyannis rotary — one for each person on Cape Cod who has died of COVID-19. As of Wednesday, that number was 459.

“I'm hoping that the families will drive by and realize that their loved ones are being thought of, and they're just not a statistic,” she said.

Harris said she knows firsthand what it’s like to lose a loved one in the pandemic and feel like families were robbed of the ability to comfort the dying.

“They had to die alone,” she said. “There was no closure for the families.”

The flags will be yellow and maroon with a COVID-19 symbol in the middle, she said. She plans to place them on May 2, and they will remain on display until at least June 6.

She had to get permission from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Harris was raising money for the project online, but her employer, Cape Air, decided to cover the cost of the flags.

Now the more than $5,000 she raised will go to scholarships for high school seniors who have lost a family member to COVID-19, she said.

Linda Markham, president of Cape Air, called Harris’ efforts moving and inspiring.

It's a beautiful tribute to not only her father, but to others who lost their lives due to COVID,” she said.

If families give permission, Harris plans to personalize the flags with the victim’s name, town, and date of death.

She invited families to email her at covidvictimsofcapecod@yahoo.com.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.