SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — The City Hall in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and California’s capitol building were lit up in amber on the eve of the Biden/Harris inauguration as part of a nationwide tribute to more than 400,000 Americans who died of COVID-19.
Other cities around the U.S. planned tributes as well. The Empire State Building was lit in “heartbeat” red — the same lighting used last year as a show of support for emergency workers at the height of the virus surge in New York City. The red lights pulsed as a visual heartbeat. In Salt Lake City, the bells at the Utah Capitol were to ring 15 times in honor of the more than 1,500 lives lost to COVID-19 in the state.
President-elect Joe Biden, who will be sworn in Wednesday, took part in an evening remembrance ceremony Tuesday near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The 400,000 dead were represented by 400 lights placed around the reflecting pool. The bell at the Washington National Cathedral tolled 400 times.
The nation reached the 400,000 milestone in just under a year. The first known deaths from the virus in the U.S. were in early February 2020, both of them in Santa Clara County, California.