The City of Norman opened a memorial wall Saturday where residents can gather to remember loved ones who lost their battle to COVID-19.
Dozens gathered at Reaves Park as the city introduced a memorial for people to reflect on on the past year. Saturday marked the first anniversary of Norman’s first positive case of COVID-19.
The city said 144 residents have died due to the virus.
"Some will say the death rates not that much," Norman mayor Breea Clark said. "Go tell that to someone who lost their mom. There's 16-year-olds who no longer have a parent in our community because of COVID-19."
City officials said now isn’t just a time to mourn but also to think about better days ahead.
The city, like much of the state, has seen their COVID-19 cases decline over the past month with more residents receiving COVID-19 vaccines.
"There is hope and optimism that there is light at the end of the tunnel," Norman city manager Darrel Pyle said. "And we will not take our foot off the accelerator until we've cleared that tunnel."
Officials said they’ll keep this memorial up until July 31.