By CBSBoston.com Staff

WESTWOOD (CBS) – It started at noon then rippled across the state and the nation: church bells ringing in remembrance of all the lives lost to COVID-19.

“Let’s face it, there was a lot of sadness this year,” says Father Paul Soper of Saint Margaret Mary Church in Westwood. “People lost a lot, and most importantly, a lot of folks lost family members.”

The bells at St. Margaret tolled for 15 minutes as parishioners stood silently outside.

“As an individual, I think you often feel there’s not much you can do to contribute, to help stop it or to let those folks know who have lost someone that the community does care about them,” said Mike Raftery.

At the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, the sound of the bells rang across the South End. Cardinal Sean O’Malley said, “We’re tolling the bells to recall the 330,000 Americans who have perished during this last year.”

In Massachusetts alone, 12,000 lives were lost to COVID-19.

CBSBoston.com Staff