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10-year-old Lorenzo stages emotional address as Sint-Truiden remembers corona victims

Six months after the start of the lockdown, on 13 March, the city of Sint-Truiden staged a ceremony to remember all victims of Covid-19. There were some emotional moments, including one with 10-year-old Lorenzo, at the Rozentuin (Rose Garden) of the 't Speelhof site.  

The event was not just about those who died after contracting the disease: it was about victims in a broad sense, for example people who didn't die from the virus, but who couldn't get a decent funeral because of corona restrictions.

Sint-Truiden (Limburg province) was among the municipalities which were hit very hard by coronavirus, mourning 335 fatalities between mid-March and the end of August - these figures apply to all deaths, not just corona cases.

Speaking at the ceremony were Sint-Truiden Mayor Veerle Heeren (Christian democrat) and also 10-year-old Lorenzo, whose beloved granddad was the first to die from Covid-19 in Sint-Truiden.

335 families lost somebody between mid-March and the end of August (...) saying goodbye was very difficult 

Heeren said "this is a very important moment for our local cummunity. We went through a deep crisis, 335 families lost somebody through Covid-19 or because of other causes. But what they all have in common, is that they had to say goodbye in difficult circumstances. Let this be a place of silence to remember them."

The ceremony was staged to help people to overcome their grief. Family and friends of deceased can come back to the site to mourn, as the place of silence and reflection includes a tree of life. Among those attending the ceremony were the Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke and infectiologist Erika Vlieghe. 

Bernard Gillet

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