The Walloon city of Ciney has erected a memorial to honour local residents who passed away during the lockdown and imposed to curb the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium.
The names of 51 residents of the city of some 16,000, located south of Namur, were inscribed on the memorial site, which the city said will offer physical "space for contemplation and remembrance" of their passing during the Covid-19 crisis.
The monument was set up in the local cemetery and unveiled to citizens on All Saints Day, a holiday of the Catholic tradition celebrated in remembrance of the dead.
Ciney Mayor Frédéric Deville said that families' grief was heightened as they buried and held wakes for their loved ones in exceptional conditions, which a coronavirus ban on gathering reducing attendances to the strict minimum.
"These 51 residents of Ciney passed without being honoured by their acquaintances, their friends, their families...," the city wrote in an online statement.
Families were confronted with "funerals that were even sadder than they usually are," the mayor said.
"The idea for the monument was presented to the local council as a way to mark their passing, as a way to say they will not be forgotten."
The Brussels Times