(WTNH) — On this day one year ago, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Thursday morning the Saint Francis Hospital community came together to mark the day.

They held a service to remember the lives lost and to honor the heroes working on the front lines. EMT, firefighters, and police came out to show support — all while doctors and nurses shared emotional stories of loss and hope.

“We cried together, we laughed together. We truly could not have done it without one another,” said  Vy Nguyen, a nurse at St. Francis Hospital. “This team is the reason why we survived not one, but two rounds of the surge so let’s keep going strong.” 

Staff members said they are grateful for the community’s support throughout the pandemic. 

“I am proud of us and I am proud to be a nurse,” Nguyen said tearfully. 

St. Francis Hospital lost 410 patients and three of their own healthcare workers.