By Andrea Flores

DENVER (CBS4)– Friday marked one year since the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Colorado. Eight days after the first case was reported, the state reported its first death.

People across the state paid their respects to the nearly 6,000 Coloradans who have lost their lives to the potentially deadly virus over the past 12 months.

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“Since that day one year ago, we lost 5,984 souls in Colorado to COVID-19, and in every case, instead of being surrounded by family and loved ones, they had to spend their last moments alone in a hospital bed,” said Gov. Jared Polis.

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Polis invited all Coloradans to participate in a virtual statewide Evening of Remembrance. Even though the pandemic isn’t over yet, Polis hopes the state will make it through together.

“No matter how often were knocked down we don’t quit because we’re Coloradans,” he said. “With each day we get closer to the end.”

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Polis explained why the state picked the color magenta for the Day of Remembrance. He says it symbolizes love, compassion, support, and kindness; all things he hopes will carry Coloradans through the end of the COVID-19 crisis.

WWII-era aircraft performed a flyover from west to east over the state Capitol on Friday afternoon.

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The virtual ceremony was broadcast from the west steps of the state Capitol where the magenta lights could be seen across the city. Denver lit the City and County Building, the McNichols Building, the DCPA and Red Rocks Amphitheatre in magenta in honor of the thousands who died from COVID.

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“It’s the loss of life as we knew it, of the certainty we once took for granted, and of who we were before this pandemic began. Each of us has lived a different experience over this last year, but we all have reason to mourn. With all change comes loss, with all loss comes grief. But out of our pain, we’ve summoned strength and resilience that lives deep in our DNA as Coloradans,” said Polis.

Andrea Flores