Look: Vienna commemorates Covid victims with a ‘sea of lights’

More than 30,000 people come together in memory of over 13,000 people died of Covid-19 in Austria



People hold candles during a demonstration in memory of the victims of the Covid-19 virus and to thank the health workers on December 19, on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. — AFP
People hold candles during a demonstration in memory of the victims of the Covid-19 virus and to thank the health workers on December 19, on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. — AFP

By AFP

Published: Mon 20 Dec 2021, 1:26 AM

Tens of thousands of Vienna residents turned out on Sunday night to participate in a “sea of lights” commemoration for the more than 13,000 Austrians who have died in the coronavirus pandemic.

People hold candles during a demonstration in memory of the victims of the Covid-19 virus and to thank the health workers on December 19, on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. — AFP
People hold candles during a demonstration in memory of the victims of the Covid-19 virus and to thank the health workers on December 19, on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. — AFP

The event, supported by dozens of civil society organisations, drew more than 30,000 people, according to Austrian media.

People hold candles during a demonstration in memory of the victims of the Covid-19 virus and to thank the health workers on December 19, on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. — AFP
People hold candles during a demonstration in memory of the victims of the Covid-19 virus and to thank the health workers on December 19, on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. — AFP

They organised a chain of more than 13,000 candles stretching around Vienna’s central ring road, one for each person who died in Austria, and observed a moment of silence.

People hold candles during a demonstration in memory of the victims of the Covid-19 virus and to thank the health workers on December 19, on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. — AFP
People hold candles during a demonstration in memory of the victims of the Covid-19 virus and to thank the health workers on December 19, on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. — AFP

The commemoration was also intended to show solidarity with healthcare workers following several weeks of anti-coronavirus demonstrations in the Austrian capital. On Saturday, tens of thousands again turned out to protest the government’s pandemic-related restrictions, as well as a planned national vaccine mandate.

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“We are simply people from civil society who want to send a signal,” organizer Daniel Landau told the Austrian newspaper Kurier.

In addition to those who attended in person, many more — including Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen — shared photos of candles lit in their windows on social media with the hashtag #YesWeCare.


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