The "Light It Blue" campaign was in full force across the country Thursday night.


City monuments, stadiums, government buildings and houses were lit up with blue lights to thank first responders, health care professionals and essential workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.


The Ottawa Recreation Commission sponsored a community-wide effort for the public to recognize those essential workers by going outside to cheer and applaud them.


“Let’s turn Ottawa into a great place where all our health care providers and first responders know how much we really appreciate them,” Stortz said in a video publicizing the event. “They deserve it. They are on the front lines fighting something we can only imagine. They have a very difficult job and task ahead of them. We are all in this together.”


The Kansas City sports teams and others across the country also joined in the celebration.


The Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC lit national icons blue.


The teams joined other Kansas City locations, including Union Station, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Kansas City Marriott, the Power & Light Building and Overland Park’s CityPlace, in the event.


The University of Kansas displayed messages on athletic video boards in support of the workers.


The Hoglund Ballpark and Rock Chalk Park Track & Field video boards displayed the following message on a blue background: “Thank you to all those fighting on the front lines against COVID-19!”


In addition, the Campanile and the Waving the Wheat Wall behind the DeBruce Center was lit in blue.


“Kansas Athletics is proud to join in the Light It Blue campaign as a powerful show of support for the medical professionals and essential workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic in our communities and around the world,” Athletic Director Jeff Long said. “We are so thankful for everyone who is putting their lives at risk battling this virus and know their efforts will return our loved ones to us. They are all true heroes.”