'These are the hands': Actress Emilia Clarke recites poem in touching tribute for International Nurses Day

Actress Emilia Clarke thanked nurses around the world in a video marking International Nurses Day, an annual date that takes on a new significance amid the fight against COVID-19. 

Celebrated on May 12, the day honors contributions that nurses make to society. It’s held on the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale — a trailblazing figure in modern nursing who was born exactly 200 years ago. 

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To mark the occasion, the Royal College of Nursing in the U.K. shared a video of actress Emilia Clarke reciting a poem called “These are the Hands,” written by Michael Rosen in 2008 for the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service.

“These are the hands that touch us first, feel your head, find the pulse and make your bed,” the "Game of Thrones" star says over a video montage showing nurses helping to care for patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Clarke, an ambassador of the Royal College of Nursing, thanks all nursing staff at the end of the video and wishes them a happy International Nurses Day.

In the U.S., many nurses and other health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic were among the earliest Americans to test positive for the novel coronavirus. They continue to be infected in large numbers, according to the Associated Press.

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This story was reported from Cincinnati.