FRANKFORT, Ky. — A memorial honoring the Kentuckians lost during the Coronavirus pandemic now stands on the Kentucky State Capitol grounds.

What You Need To Know

  •  Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear dedicated a new memorial that commemorates the lives lost during the COVID-19 pandemic

  •  Over 18,000 Kentuckians have died as a result of COVD-19 over the last three years

  •  Kandie Adkinson has been ringing the bells at the Capitol Rotunda throughout the pandemic and rang them once more to mark the dedication

  • The new memorial was designed and sculpted by Kentucky native Amanda Matthews 

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear dedicated the memorial in an official ceremony on Wednesday.

The occasion was marked by the ringing of the bells from the Capitol Rotunda — something Kandie Adkinson has been doing every day at 10 a.m. since March 2020.

“120 times each day — one time for every county,” explains Adkinson. “We kept ringing the bells until September of 2022 because of the flooding and tornadoes. All Kentuckians were thought of.”

Adkinson rang the bells once more on Wednesday for a new memorial that will honor the thousands of Kentuckians who died during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The fact it is spherical in shape should occur to us that everyone who looks into this glass sphere who was effected directly or indirectly by COVID,” Adkinson shared.

The memorial is titled “United We Stand. Divided We Fall,” an ode to the Kentucky state motto. It was designed and sculpted by Amanda Matthews, who is a Kentucky native.

“This is a story lived in our time that will be shared with future generations and will be told by us and in part by this memorial monument,” said Matthews.

The memorial is a chance to reflect on the history and to remember the more than 18,000 Kentuckians who died as a result of the pandemic. It’s also a way to honor the people who dedicated themselves to helping their fellow Kentuckians.

“I hope that all Kentuckians can come to this memorial and to see what they did to help us get through this and get through it,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.

For Adkinson, the artist including a number of important meaningful details in the monument. “She did a wonderful job. And the fact that she included bells in the area, and a cardinal on one of the sculptures, and the stem holding up the sphere of those we lost — they will never be forgotten,” she said.

As Adkinson rang the bells once more Wednesday, it was a somber reminder of how much Kentuckians have endured for the last three years.