Global COVID-19 Memorial Will Honor Pandemic Frontline & Essential Workers

CHICAGO, April 24, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A monument park and website honoring medical frontline and essential workers worldwide who risked their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic will break ground this summer in Chicago, Illinois. The COVID-19 Monument of Honor, Remembrance, and Resilience draws attention to the enormous sacrifices made by these workers and the stress they encountered. Further, the COVID-19 Monument pays tribute to those who lost the battle to COVID-19, now more than seven million individuals. Accessible 24/7, the monument park and website will serve as a gathering space of healing, reflection, & wellness. The website will invite participation from all, and preserve the oral history of essential workers, pandemic survivors (especially those suffering from Long-COVID) and serve as a permanent memorial to lost loved ones.

Sally Metzler, Ph.D., the Chair of the Commission, emphasized the epic nature of the impact of the pandemic, “No other event in recent history has touched every place, citizen, & nation on Earth as did the COVID-19 pandemic. It excluded no one. At best you may have experienced quarantine, at worst you may have experienced loss; we have all shared the pain and challenges brought by the pandemic.” She stressed the critical need to thank the essential workers, and to make certain the world recognizes the historic nature of the pandemic to heal and learn for future generations.

The COVID-19 Monument is a collaboration between the Illinois Medical District (IMD) ( and the COVID-19 Monument Commission (under the aegis of the Hektoen Institute of Medicine ( The IMD has donated the land for the monument park, located in a thriving urban setting that is home to thousands of healthcare workers, four premiere hospitals, and over forty healthcare and scientific research facilities. Under the leadership of CEO & Executive Director Allyson Hansen, the IMD is proud to sponsor this global, historic initiative to honor pandemic heroes: they are the nurses, doctors, health care workers; the public service sector employees, teachers and school paraprofessionals; airline and banking personnel; the brave souls who rang up our groceries and medicines, delivered our packages, prepared our to-go meals; the beauty salon employees, plumbers, and construction workers; those who drove our buses, taxis, subways, and many more.

Dr. Metzler stressed the unique nature of the COVID-19 Monument, in that of honoring frontline workers in tandem with the victims of COVID-19. Further, she emphasized the dual nature of this COVID-19 Monument: a physical and potent virtual presence accessible to the world. Funding for the monument is a grass-roots effort, and the volunteer-led Commission encourages everyone throughout the world to donate what they can, even $10 will make a difference, directly through the website: ( Corporate sponsorships provide worldwide recognition at the monument site and on the website, which will offer in perpetuity a virtual platform for the global pandemic experience.

For those who perished, for those who lost a loved-one, for those who have recovered, and for those who courageously and selflessly served during the darkest and most uncertain days of the pandemic, the COVID-19 Monument will mark an event in history that must remain indelible in our memory. Please visit the website to read more and donate today. (

Interested parties are encouraged to follow the monument on social media:

For more information:
Dr. Sally Metzler,