STONECREST, Ga. - Dozens of people gathered at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church this weekend to honor loved ones who died during the coronavirus pandemic.
The church hosted their third-annual balloon release that is meant to honor family members and loved ones who passed away.
The church says they started the event during the height of the pandemic as a way to mourn those who died from COVID.
The pastor of the church says a large portion of his congregation never got the chance to properly mourn due to COVID protocols.
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church hosts a remember balloon released in memory of those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic during a ceremony on May 28, 2023. (FOX 5)
"What we forget is that in the pandemic, funeral homes limited how many people could come, how many people could be apart, so many people could not grieve of loved ones. They had go to the cemetery, but not be in the service," said New Birth Missionary Baptist Church pastor Jamal Bryant. "But today they are able to have some modicum of closure."
A number of local leaders also attended the event, including Stonecrest Mayor Jazzmin Cobble, the DeKalb County sheriff and the DeKalb County police chief.