Cape Cod Woman Who Lost Her Father To Covid-19 Pushes For Hyannis Memorial

Childhood photo of Harris with her father, Dennis Brandao

CAPE COD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — After losing her father to Covid-19 in January, a woman from Cape Cod is working to turn her grief into solidarity.

Denise Harris is currently in the process of ordering hundreds of flags to honor the Cape Cod residents that were lost to the virus throughout the pandemic -- including her father, Dennis Brandao.

"The toughest part is the guilt," Harris said. "It's unbearable to lose any loved one -- but when you lose it from Covid, they're dying alone."

Harris plans to install the flags at the Hyannis Airport Rotary -- with each flag bearing the name, town and dates of death for each victim from Barnstable County. She has already gotten the green light from the state, but she is now working to get permission from the victim's families to personalize the flags.

"I wanted to do something to honor the victims, and as a family member I know how it feels," she said. "So I'm hoping that this might make the families feel better as well to know that their loved ones haven't been forgotten and it's kind of therapeutic to see, I think."

Denise Harris with her father, Dennis Brandao

Since March 2020, 450 people have died from the virus on Cape Cod. Harris is considering making the flags red and orange colored, based on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Covid-19 community map.

She is hoping to have the flags installed in late April, to keep them up during the month of May. Thousands of dollars have already been raised to fund the effort through a GoFundMe page.

Family members of Cape Cod residents who have died from Covid-19 can reach out to Harris at to have their loved one be honored through the memorial.

WBZ NewsRadio's Laurie Kirby (@LaurieWBZ) reports.

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Written by Rachel Armany

Photo: Courtesy of Denise Harris

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