More than 7,000 white roses were laid out at the National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin on Friday in honor of the people who have died from the coronavirus on the island of Ireland.
A total of 7,497 white roses were laid out at the memorial gardens in Islandbridge, one for each life lost to the coronavirus between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Dr. Patrick Seigne of Cork University Hospital helped to organize the initiative and said that it was an opportunity to grieve for family members, loved ones, frontline workers, and the nation.
Seigne, who works as a consultant intensivist at Cork University Hospital, said that the white roses help to humanize each victim of the coronavirus pandemic instead of making them daily faceless figures.
"I saw a lot of sadness over the last 18 months," Seigne told the Irish Times. "I saw a lot of death and I didn’t really feel that a lot of the families had an appropriate opportunity to mourn."
Seigne was joined at the Memorial Gardens by dozens of doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers, who held a minute's silence for all victims of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, a memorial charity cycle raising money for four charities, including cancer research, mental health support, and elderly people has raised more than €130,000 to date.
The ICU4U memorial cycle saw small teams of doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other healthcare staff cycle to the Memorial Gardens in Dublin from university hospitals in Galway, Limerick, Sligo, Waterford, Belfast, and Cork.
The cycle aimed to raise €150,000 for ALONE, supporting elderly people, Aware, offering mental health supports, Aware Northern Ireland, and Breakthrough Cancer Research.
Dr. Catherine Motherway, who works as an intensive care consultant at the University Hospital Limerick, completed the cycle to Islandbridge and told the Irish Times that she felt "quite emotional" about the tribute.
"Many of the patients we lost in ICU we knew. They had been with us for a long time. We knew these people before we put them on ventilators," she said.
Members of the public are encouraged to visit the National War Memorial Garden on Saturday and to bring a white rose if they have lost a loved one during the pandemic.
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