CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — For so many families in the Midstate, COVID-19 took lives far too soon, whether it was a sibling, a parent or a friend. This is why Saturday’s march at the U.S. Army Heritage Education Center in Carlisle, Pa., was so poignant, because for those still grieving, it offered a chance to bond over something so tragic.
The virus took away many last moments together and now families cherish whatever memories they have.
“She was always smiling, always loving. She didn’t judge anyone over anything, and I’m going to try to live by that,” Jamie Conley, organizer of the March to Remember Carlisle, said.
For Conley, the road has not been easy. Losing her mom back in February of this year was a rollercoaster of emotions.
”It’s the what if questions that tug at your heart every time. It is what did the doctors do? What didn’t they do? Could we have done anything differently? You recap the day your loved one received the word they had Covid and you were hoping it didn’t get worse,” Conley said.
She put her grief into something that would honor her mother and found inspiration in the Yellow Heart Memorial Facebook. This is why this walk and the wall of yellow hearts is so important to her and countless families as a way to remember their loved ones who lost their lives and honor those still fighting.
“We all got to talk about it. We got to be with each other. We got to see family from far away and got to hear other people’s stories, just to come together and grieve together. Hopefully, it gets bigger and bigger every year,” Bobbi Yentzer, Conley’s sister said.
Hundreds of yellow hearts, each inscribed with the name of someone who died from COVID-19 across 37 states adorned the wall, including my own grandfather’s name, Ramon Munoz so that he, like all those hundreds of names, are never forgotten.
“I’m not alone. Someone is with me. There is someone there that can be my support other than my sister, my dad and my family. They are my biggest support but all these people need what I need,” Conley added.