CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (WCMH)- Governor Mike DeWine dedicating a new memorial tree grove in honor of victims and survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the battle is not over and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“We’ve been through a lot, we have a little more to go but we will come out of this, and we will be strong,” said Governor Mike DeWine, (R) Ohio.

The memorial is made up of 15 newly planted trees at Great Seal State Park. Benches will also be added to allow visitors to “reflect on the toll of the pandemic.” A plague nearby says the memorial should serve as a place of peace, solace, and remembrance.

“We hope these trees are here many, many years. We know that the White Oaks can live to be two, three hundred years old,” said Governor DeWine, (R) Ohio.

More than 19,000 Ohioans have lost their lives during the pandemic and countless others have sacrificed in one way or another.

“This is a memorial for this entire state because everyone has been impacted by this to some degree,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Chief Clinical Officer.

Ohio is not out of this pandemic yet, meaning more deaths will likely occur and more sacrifices will need to be made. Dr. Thomas and Governor DeWine continue to urge Ohioans to get vaccinated and end this pandemic.

“It is not in the rear-view mirror yet. We still need to push ahead, make sure we get to that her immunity perspective,” said Dr. Thomas. ” That’s what’s really going to protect us in the long run.”