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Kentucky's first reported COVID-19 case hit the news four years ago. Wednesday, a packed Capitol Rotunda took time to remember

Josh James

Wednesday marked the four-year anniversary of the first reported case of COVID-19 in the commonwealth, and the beginning of a unique challenge for the state, the nation, and the world. A ceremony was held in the Capitol Rotunda to share memories, grieve the nearly 20,000 Kentucky deaths linked to the pandemic, and declare a new "Day of Compassion."

The gathering felt both like a solemn remembrance and a reunion — one that marked both the massive progress made in combating COVID while reviving the atmosphere of the press briefings, bell ringings, green lights, and other symbols that came to define a unique and painful chapter in Kentucky history.

The crowd heard from some who nearly lost their lives to the illness, others who served in top health posts, and the wife of the late beloved sign language interpreter Virginia Moore, who became a pandemic-era fixture at the governor's side during updates.

Beshear concluded his remarks by declaring March 6th the "Day of Compassion" in the commonwealth.

Hear the full story above.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.