As Detroit residents have made up roughly 25% of Michigan’s 6,400 COVID-19 deaths, the city of Detroit is holding a memorial day today, August 31st, to honor more than 1,500 residents who passed away from COVID-19.

Families will drive their cars past nearly 900 billboard-sized photos of loved ones staked around Belle Isle. The pictures represent a majority of the 1,500 Detroiters lost to the virus between through early August. Family members provided each of the images being displayed along the memorial drive route.


Duggan spoke at 8:15 a.m. at the foot of the bridge to Belle Isle. At 8:45 a.m., a call for the ringing of bells on the island and across the city began. The first procession will cross the bridge as bells continue to ring. Detroit families, businesses, churches, neighbors were all asked to join in on ringing bells for 15 minutes to honor our 1,500 victims and signal the beginning of the drive.

On the island, white-gloved volunteers from the Belle Isle Conservancy will greet mourners with flowers as they pass. The drive will be from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Belle Isle will be closed to the public for the day. The public is asked to visit the Island to see the photos on Tuesday and Wednesday to allow families to mourn on Monday.

At 4 p.m., after the final procession, people will be asked to head home to watch The Ford Fireworks on WDIV Local 4.