National Mall

Memorial Poster Project on National Mall Remembers Victims of Opioid Epidemic

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The National Mall will have a powerful and moving display Saturday highlighting the pain and enduring love felt by families who have lost someone to a drug overdose.

John Lally, a nurse and mental health counselor from Connecticut, founded Today I Matter, Inc. with his wife in memory of their son Timothy. Lally described him as a musician, artist and caring person who never stopped trying to help others until his death of an opioid overdose in 2016.

Timothy Lally’s face and name will be on one of the 540 posters displayed on the National Mall Saturday. The group has held previous displays in other cities.

“The last five years, now, we’ve been hoping someday we’re going to get to Washington,” John Lally said.

Brigitte Jurczyk lost her daughter, who she described as a radiant, generous woman, to an opioid overdose in 2015. The 27-year-old had a young daughter Jurczyk and her husband are raising.

“For me, it has been imperative that we educate and that we bring awareness and that we start families talking much earlier, because kids are doing pill parties in sixth, seventh and eighth grade,” Jurczyk said.

John Lally says the opioid epidemic – the flooding of fentanyl into nearly every community in the country – means more families are contacting his organization to put their loved one’s face and name on the horrifying statistics.

“Now, it’s these counterfeit pills that are made to look like pharmaceutical-grade pills that you’d get from a pharmacy that are just deceiving people,” he said. “They think they’re getting one thing and they’re getting something else.”

The Memorial Poster Project display will be on the National Mall between 13th and 14th streets from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

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