Biden inauguration events to include coronavirus victims vigil at Lincoln Memorial

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President-elect Joe Biden plans to include a lighting ceremony honoring Americans who have died from the coronavirus as part of the events leading up to his Jan. 20 inauguration.

The vigil will take place at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool the day before the inauguration and will include lights around the memorial and the ringing of church bells across the city, according to USA Today.

Other American cities are invited to participate by ringing church bells and lighting buildings in remembrance of those lost, Variety reported. 

"The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris represents the beginning of a new national journey," a representative for the Presidential Inaugural Committee said. "However, in the midst of a pandemic — when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbors — it is important that we honor those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in the nation's history, and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation."

Aside from the lighting, many of the traditional inaugural events will be virtual in a style similar to last summer’s Democratic convention, USA Today reported. 

Biden in December pledged to ask all Americans to wear masks, administer 100 million vaccines and get most schools back open in the first 100 days of his presidency.

He has also been critical of President Trump’s response to the pandemic and the slow vaccine rollout.

The ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 19.

As of early Friday, more than 345,000 Americans have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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