Caddo commissioner proposes COVID-19 memorial

The Caddo Commission approved to spend $175,000 on mobile COVID-19 testing Thursday night.
The Caddo Commission approved to spend $175,000 on mobile COVID-19 testing Thursday night.(KSLA)
Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 3:40 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Tuesday, March 9, marks one year since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Louisiana. Since then, over 9,700 Louisianans have lost their lives to the virus, including 677 in Caddo Parish.

Caddo Commission President Lyndon B. Johnson has proposed creating a memorial to honor those who have lost their lives to the deadly virus in the parish, as well as those who have been on the front lines this past year.

“We have lost so many innocent lives due to a silent killer,” Johnson said. “I just thought we needed to make a memorial. A lot of people didn’t see this coming. So many got it by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I thought with our first responders, the nurses, the doctors having to work extra and responding to calls and never knowing when you get to the scene if that silent killer is there or not. For the people who did pass, I just feel like we need to do something to give their families some type of brighter look of saying at least my mother, my father, my grandfather, my uncle, my cousin, my son is being remembered. I think we are in a position where we can do that.”

Speaking to those he represents, Johnson says most like the idea of a memorial.

“Most people are glad that I came up with this idea,” Johnson said. “I have a few who said it’s a waste of money, but if they had a loved one who they lost, I think they would like it.”

Johnson sponsored an ordinance for $75,000 to go toward designing and erecting the proposed memorial.

“It will probably be a lot less than that but when I brought it to the table I knew other Commissioners would probably want to add their suggestions to it as well,” Johnson said. “I didn’t want to go back and have to increase the money because we decided to add things to it. I wanted to put a number in so we had a budget but we will work to stay under that budget.”

Johnson says he would like the memorial to be marble or granite, with the names of those who lost their lives to COVID-19 in Caddo Parish engraved and a silhouette of first responders and healthcare workers.

He says he would like the memorial to be placed along the riverfront. He says if it is approved, he would like for it to be completed by the end of this year.

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