Southern Indiana County Reverses Course on COVID-19 Memorial Amid Opposition

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A southern Indiana county has dropped plans for a COVID-19 memorial on the courthouse lawn after county leaders say they heard opposition to the project.

Dubois County commissioners voted 2-1 this past week to rescind the approval they gave in August for the memorial to be built with private donations to honor those who died from COVID-19 and frontline workers during the pandemic, The (Jasper) Herald reported.

Commissioner Chad Blessinger said he regretted voting to allow the memorial because of community reaction since then.

Memorial committee member Chris Waltz asked for time to complete the design for the planned circular bench memorial, saying it wouldn’t compete with the war memorials already on the courthouse grounds.

The state health department has recorded at least 150 COVID-19 deaths in the largely rural county northeast of Evansville.

Commissioner Elmer Brames, who voted against rescinding approval of the memorial, said some people believed the courthouse lawn should be reserved for military memorials, but he believed the grounds belonged to all residents.

“I think we need to set our differences aside and recognize those who struggled through these hard times with this disease as well,” Brames said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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