UPDATE (5/18): A memorial honoring local residents who lost their lives to COVID-19 will be unveiled later this morning.
The memorial, located in front of American Fabrication at 4940 Gilmore Ave., will include more than 100 names.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Construction on a memorial honoring local residents who lost their lives to COVID-19 is now underway.
Local business American Fabrication said it has begun construction on the memorial but still needs a few more names of those who have died to be able to complete the first panel of the planned three-part wall.
The company says it needs at least 105 names to complete the first section. More than 1,300 people have died in Kern County due to COVID-19, according to Kern County Public Health.
The memorial will be located in front of American Fabrication, located at 4940 Gilmore Ave.
Owner Kevin Russell is spearheading the effort, inspired by the loss of his friend Victor Ramos Jr. in October.
He has previously led similar projects. In 2017, he constructed crosses and plaques in honor of victims of the Route 91 mass shooting in Las Vegas. Roughly one year later, he did the same to honor those murdered in the Borderline Bar and Grill massacre in Thousand Oaks.
He also honored the victims of the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.
Anyone who would like to submit a name for the memorial can email Michelle Bettis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KGET published its own tribute to local COVID-19 victims. You can check out our gallery here.