‘Field of flags’ lights up Washington DC ahead of inauguration

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(AP) — Inaugural organizers on Monday finished installing some 200,000 small U.S., state and territorial flags on the National Mall, a sobering display intended to honor the nearly 400,000 Americans killed in the coronavirus pandemic, as well as represent those who cannot attend the ceremony in person.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris plan to take part in an event Tuesday, soon after the president-elect arrives in Washington, at the reflecting pool near the Lincoln Memorial to honor American lives lost to COVID-19.

Even before the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, inauguration festivities were expected to be muted due to the virus. Mayor Muriel Bowser urged residents to stay away from the city on Inauguration Day.

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