Rose River Memorial

Rose River Memorial : 2020 has been a year no-one could have imagined: a global pandemic, economic decimation, heroic medical and other frontline workers, months-long lockdowns with no end in sight, 200,000 fellow Americans dead, and that toll still rising, with many other countires falling victims to the same Pandemic.

Picture this: More than 300,000 handcrafted roses are gathered to represent each life taken. This artwork represents the enormity of the loss from the COVID-19 crisis. The memorial becomes a focus for all of us to mourn and heal. Roses have been used throughout history in many cultures and religions to symbolize the passing of the spirit, to mourn the dead, and seek solace. The rose is the official floral emblem of the United States, and it is customary for red roses to feature in funerals, often arranged en masse atop the casket. Rose River is a casket for the nation, a river of roses to show respect and to grieve.
The project has started off with 2 installations in Los Angeles, onne on the West Side (Building Bridges Art Exchange) and one on the East Side (Self Help Graphics). Further installations are planned and work in progress.
Already, Rose River Memorial has attracted the strong interest of local and national media (including The LA Times, The Hill, Curbed Magazine, Spectrum News, NBC4) and the endorsement of national grief nonprofits Reimagine and Marked by COVID. 3 grants have been awarded so far and there have been many indicdual donors who are also making roses.
Roses have been made and mailed by people in Arizona, North Carolina, New York, California, Washington, and Oklahoma.
If you'd like to take part please visit the website You can also find our current news on @roserivermemorial on instagram

The project has evolved with the collaboration of Dr. Tilly Hinton, Marvela Muro, Marisa Caichiolo, Petra Eiko, Carolyn Freyer-Jones and an extended team of participants and volunteers. Core team at present includes: Edith Romero, Julia Johnston, Nhi Phan, Cassidy Yueh and Quynh Truong with the close support of Building Bridges Art exchange and Self Help Graphics.
Special thanks to HeartFelt, Claremont Colleges Community Action Grant.
Also to making partners: the Kiwanis Division 35, The Girl Scouts of America, St. Marcellinus Church and many more.