Chair Display In Hilgers Gultch Memorialized South Dakota’s Covid-19 Death Toll

(KCCR) — With the dome of the State Capitol as a backdrop, a display of over 800 chairs, each one representing a South Dakotan who’s died from Covid-19, was setup in Hilgers Glutch on Thanksgiving as a memorial and a reminder to stop the spread. Stop the Spread SD organized the display and a silent live stream of the empty chairs. Ashley, who asked her last name not be used, is from Pierre and an organizer of the display. She says the display is intended to visualize the loss and impact of Covid-19…

Ashley’s husband Joseph addressed a live stream video beginning the memorial…

A Native American family, impacted with loss from Covid-19, drove to Pierre after hearing about the event to perform spiritual prayer of song while blessing the chairs…

A visitor to the display laid a mask down on one chair, while others watched in silence and reflection from the Church Street sidewalk. The chairs were displayed in a cross formation to face all four directions and honor Native American communities that have experienced greater losses from Covid-19.