ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Thursday marks exactly one year since the first confirmed local case of COVID-19.

To mark the anniversary, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren will declare March 11th as COVID-19 Commemoration Day.

As part of this initiative, Bello and Warren ask all residents to shine a light at 8 p.m. in memory of the lives lost to COVID-19 and as a “thanks to all the health care and essential workers who have contributed to keeping our community safe during this difficult time.”

“March 11 will be a day to grieve the lives we have lost, the loved ones left behind and the heartache caused by this deadly virus,” said Bello. “It will also be a day to reflect on the many ways our community has come together to protect each other and help reduce the spread of COVID-19. So many of our health care workers, first responders and essential workers have been on the front lines throughout this pandemic, providing treatment, care and assistance to our community. I ask everyone to pause at 8 p.m. tomorrow in remembrance of those we have lost and to express our gratitude for all the people whose dedication and sacrifice helped so many of us safe during this trying time.”

“I extend my heartfelt condolences to all of our families who are grieving loved ones lost due to COVID-19,” said Mayor Lovely Warren. “We’ve have had a very challenging year and we are deeply grateful to our healthcare professionals, researchers and essential workers who continue to work tirelessly in helping our community overcome this global pandemic. I join County Executive Bello as we pause to shine radiant love and light to commemorate those we have lost.”

To commemorate the past year and all its difficulties, News 8 WROC is hosting a special town hall event Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Local leaders joining the program to discuss the past calendar year will include Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza, Dr. Ann Falsey of University of Rochester Medical Center, Rev. Lewis Stewart of United Christian Leadership Ministry, and more community members.

Lights at the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport and other buildings around Rochester will be lit in white at 8 p.m.