THORNTON, Colo. (KDVR) — Lauren Varner still gets the sudden urge to call her best friend — her mother — even though she’s been gone for seven months.
Sue Ziemann, a grandmother of three, beat leukemia back in 2017. But she died in January after a 2-month battle in the hospital with COVID-19.
Like so many other grieving families, Varner couldn’t hold a service for her mom when she passed. But then she learned about an art installation in Washington honoring the lives lost to the disease.
“I feel validated to be seen … It’s been so isolating in this loss,” Varner said.
The project is called “In America.”
Jeremiah Lindemann is part of the large group of volunteers making the massive art exhibit come to life in September on the grounds of the National Mall.
Lindemann is a mapping engineer in Thornton and created an online map, where families can dedicate a white flag to loved ones they lost to COVID-19.
The white flags will display the names and stories of those who have passed.
“Being able to honor all these people collectively in one space I think is pretty special,” Lindemann said.
Lindemann helped create a similar concept for opioid deaths years ago after he lost his brother to an overdose. This was another instance he wanted to help show the vastness of the devastation.