On Sunday Mark and I had a great time on our 12-mile walk around London but in the middle we did have a somber visit. We went to see the National COVID Memorial Wall, a six foot tall wall of red hand-drawn hearts. These red hearts of different sizes are not just decoration, each of these 150,000 painted hearts represents a life lost to COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, a very sobering thought.
This project was started at the end of March by volunteers and I visited and took these photos two days ago on Sunday, April 18th and it was nearly completed. The location is one of the most prominent in London – not only is it in Central London on the River Thames and opposite the Houses of Parliament, it is also outside St Thomas’ hospital where the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was treated last year for COVID-19. One of the most common question on both the Internet and in my DMs is where is the National COVID Memorial Wall? Very specifically the address is North Wing, Lambeth Palace Rd, South Bank, London SE1 3FT and a quick Google Maps search will take you right there.
This wall extends nearly 500 meters and endless is the way I would describe it. At one point I said out-loud “wow, this just keeps going” and that was not the positive kind of wow. I am in aw of the volunteers who have spent the past three weeks with paintbrushes working to commemorate victims of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.
While the majority of the red hearts are currently blank the messages on some were absolutely heart wrenching. The wall is nearly done but there are still red hearts left to paint and there is still a crownfunding website to raise the money for both the supplies and conversation materials. And to see the full magnitude of this wall just look at the bank, a bit above the water line. See that red? Those are all hearts – truly endless.
Have you heard of the National COVID Memorial Wall?
This is incredibly moving and so sad at the same time, in some ways it reminds me of the names at the memorial fountains at Ground Zero in New York.
While sad this is a great idea, do you know if it is temporary or are they going to make it permanent?
Wow, it is a really wonderful idea and very pretty in its own way.
What a lovely show of solidarity and must give so many people who are morning a way to show it and get some solace from it.
Very healing and I think every city should copy this idea.
Sadly I have been here many times. A nice way to pay tribute to my friends and family.
I had seen an article about this but I had no idea where it was.
Never heard of this. Good idea.