YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Thursday, Mercy Health in Youngstown dedicated a memorial to those affected by COVID-19.

Health care workers, those who suffered from COVID-19, those who died, those who still live with the long-term effects and the loved ones left behind were honored.

In a half-hour ceremony, hospital leaders and priests prayed over the statue and three plaques — one honors caregivers, one remembers those who died from the virus and one serves as a historical marker. The statue is of Jesus, meant to represent a COVID-19 patient.

More than 100 people attended the dedication.

“Over the last 20 months, we as a country, as a world have experienced the pandemic more than we had ever thought we would. We’re here to have a permanent, historical marker,” said Paul Homick, president of the Mercy Health Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.

Housed beneath the statue is a time capsule to be opened on March 11, 2120 — exactly 100 years after the first documented case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in our area.