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San Diego's Balboa Park Glows in Tribute to Lives Lost to COVID-19

NBC San Diego logo NBC San Diego 1/20/2021 Monica Garske
a stop light in front of a building © Provided by NBC San Diego

On Tuesday, as the evening sky turned to night, San Diego’s Balboa Park glowed with special lights as the city remembered the many lives lost to COVID-19 – both locally and nationally.

Some of the most recognizable buildings at the San Diego landmark – including the California Tower, the San Diego Museum of Art and the iconic Spreckels Organ Pavilion – were illuminated in amber light.

The Museum of Us, the House of Hospitality, the Mingei International Museum, Casa de Balboa, and other buildings will glow in red, white, and blue, also on Tuesday night.

The shining lights, the city said, were a tribute to the 2,100-plos San Diegans who have died from COVID-19 since the county began keeping track of coronavirus-related deaths in mid-February 2020. The tribute also honored the 400,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 across the United States.

A few weeks ago, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced it would host a nationwide memorial honoring those who have died from COVID-19 the day before President-elect Joe Biden was sworn into office.

The committee invited cities across the U.S. to light up their building and ring their church bells on the evening of Jan. 19 as a “national moment of unity and remembrance.”

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said Tuesday night’s illumination of Balboa Park is part of that – a way for San Diego to join President-elect Biden in the nationwide tribute.

The mayor’s office said the San Diego Convention Center in downtown San Diego was also illuminated in amber Tuesday night.

“More than 2,000 San Diego County residents have lost their lives to the coronavirus,” Gloria said. “It’s important the city of San Diego stands with President-elect Biden and communities throughout the United States in this somber occasion and memorialize their deaths.”

“This will serve as a declaration that we must continue to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 and not allow more preventable deaths,” he added.

As of Jan. 18, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency confirmed there have been 2,103 COVID-related deaths in San Diego County (since Feb. 14, 2020). There have also been 214,337 positive COVID-19 cases in our county. NBC 7 follows case data updates from county public health officials daily here.

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