DARTMOUTH, N.S. -- It's a busy and stressful time for front-line health care and retail workers as the world copes with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their efforts aren't going unnoticed, though, as Maritimers are showing their gratitude and support in many ways.

Bruno and Christine Baurin hope Maritimers will join them to light up the darkness in honour of all first responders during these stressful times.

"Light a candle and put it in a window, or light up some Christmas lights, or any sort of light," said Christine Baurin.

"Just acknowledge the first responders so that they can get a visual and see our appreciation for them."

The show of support will take place Thursday night.

The Baurins also have a personal connection. Their son, Ben, was a volunteer firefighter who tragically died one year ago.

The Baurins say this is a way to honour their son's life and all those who serve on the frontlines.

"I know that if he was still here today that he would be one of those people that are out working and helping in order to ensure the safety of others," said Christine Baurin.

From every corner of the region, Maritimers are supporting each other.

On Tuesday, members of the Truro Police Force drove by the Colchester East Hants Health Centre with sirens flashing and plenty of applause to show their gratitude.

Neil Stephen's marketing company was planning a five-year anniversary celebration, but when COVID-19 got in the way, they used that money to put up appreciation signs across the Halifax Regional Municipality.

"The grocery store world, and the drug store world is in very close contact with people," Stephen said. "It's a stressful time for all of them, so it kind of hit us like a ton of bricks. That's who we want to talk to, that's who we want to say thank you to."

You could say the gratitude has come full circle.

When a nurse stopped into a grocery store in Dartmouth for chicken wings after a 100-hour work week, staff wouldn't accept her money.

"One of the girls who was there came up and she said ,just wait, my manager wants to give those to you for all your hard work, and dedication," said Dartmouth nurse Charlene Field. "It was like a wow moment."

It's one of many special moments during a challenging time that has many Maritimers acknowledging the hard-working heroes of the pandemic.