In late February, downtown Houston was the site of a temporary memorial honoring the victims of COVID-19.

The Greater Houston Rose River Memorial was displayed at Tranquility Park, 400 Rusk St., Houston, on Feb. 24-26. The memorial included more than 12,000 handmade red felt roses, one for each Greater Houston-area resident who died of COVID-19, said Mohammed Nasrullah, a Clear Lake resident who helped organize the memorial.

Nasrullah owns the COVID-19 Wall of Memories nonprofit website with his wife, Ruth Nasrullah. The website, launched in January 2021, allows visitors from around the nation to submit entries of those who died from COVID-19 for display on the virtual wall.

The opening ceremony for the memorial at 1 p.m. Feb. 24 included local elected officials, leaders and family members who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, according to a press release.

Los Angeles artist Marcos Lutyens created the concept for the memorial and has helped install it in different designs throughout the country. Now that the memorial has been taken down, the roses will be used in a different memorial in the next city interested in displaying them, the release said.

More than 60 volunteers worked on the project by making roses and connecting them with fishing lines, designing and building the memorial’s structure, assembling the memorial at the park, and then taking it down and preparing it to be shipped, according to the release.

“I am impressed and honored at the efforts of the Houston Rose River Memorial team,” Lutyens said in the release. “From the design to the installation, local volunteers have worked hard to honor those lost in the Greater Houston area.”

Opening ceremony speakers included Council Member Letitia Plummber; Edwards Rios, Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s community liaison; Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones; and local family members of those who have died of COVID-19.

Several hundred visitors viewed the memorial during its weekend display.