Country’s first permanent COVID-19 memorial finds home at Wall Township farm

A memorial honoring those who died from COVID-19 has finally found a permanent home, making it the first permanent COVID-19 memorial in the country.
The memorial is located at Allaire Community Farm in Wall Township. It features 664 lanterns lit up in a garden – one for every 1,000 lives lost to the virus.
The memorial first debuted on the beach in Belmar and featured stones with the names of loved ones who died from COVID-19. It was founded by Riman Samman who wanted to honor her brother Rami who died. It quickly turned into a memorial to honor all of those who were lost.
It is not just New Jersey residents honored at the memorial, but those from all over the world. The memorial was moved from the beach earlier this year, and its future was uncertain.
“I didn't want to break anybody's heart again, so this is definitely a sense of relief to be able to provide this for everybody instead of having to have demolished it,” Samman says.
The memorial also features 3,500 names. Samman’s organization Rami’s Heart will continue to add names to the stones. The names won’t be handwritten but engraved in the stones.