"It is my honor to create this for our people of Detroit," Millikin said in a statement. "This has been an absolutely staggering, heartbreaking loss that this city will feel for years to come."
The photo will be used as the cover of a program booklet for attendees of the City's Memorial Drive funeral procession on Belle Isle on Monday, Aug. 31, and the individual family photos will be displayed as billboards around the park. The event is open to family of victims on Monday and open to the rest of the public on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Mayor Mike Duggan has declared Aug. 31 Detroit Memorial Day for COVID-19 victims.
"Detroiters care deeply for one another and we felt it was important and necessary to provide an opportunity for members of this community to collectively celebrate the lives of those we’ve lost to this terrible virus," Duggan said in a statement. "This is how we begin the healing process."
The image has already had a powerful impact in showing the emotional toll of the pandemic. "My first barber, my mother’s friend, an acquaintance from high school, my coworker," one Twitter user said of the photos featured. "I can go on."
My first barber, my mother’s friend, an acquaintance from high school, my coworker and I can go on. https://t.co/o06N4Tmq9O— Alexander Coriander (@_itsmattman) August 27, 2020
We have a new events newsletter! Find out the best things to do in the area every Thursday in your inbox.