Vanessa Bryant has reflected on those who have passed away this year— including her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna— with a special message. As Entertainment Tonight shares, Bryant delivered a powerful pre-taped speech during the TIME Person of the Year special's In Memoriam segment, which was televised on Thursday.
Bryant says "words can't do justice" to year's loss
Bryant began her speech by addressing the immense tragedy that 2020 has brought with it. "Words cannot do justice to the grief we felt this year," she said. "At every level of human connection from across the world to across the table, we experienced profound loss. We said goodbye to husbands, daughters, wives, sons, grandparents, friends and national heroes."
Back in January, Bryant experienced a devastating loss of her own when Kobe and Gianna lost their lives in a plane crash. "We continue to count the lives surrendered to this cruel pandemic, which has claimed well over a million souls, worldwide," she continued. "Tonight, we mourn the people we all knew and the many we never will. May our collective grief unite us on the path forward."
Bryant's speech used to introduce video memorial
Bryant's powerful reflection served as the lead-in to a special in memoriam video. Performing "Over the Rainbow," cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott provided the instrumental soundtrack for the montage, which recognized many public figures who have died in 2020.
Apart from Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Alex Trebek, Chadwick Boseman, Sean Connery, and Eddie Van Halen were all mentioned in the video segment. The special segment also honoured George Floyd and Breonna Taylor— whose deaths contributed to the prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement— and more.
As Entertainment Tonight mentions, there were also several big names honoured at the TIME Person of the Year presentation on Thursday! Basketball player LeBron James received Athlete of the Year, while K-pop boy band BTS was named Entertainer of the Year. Meanwhile, president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris both received the distinction of Person of the Year!