A candlelight vigil was held at midnight Tuesday, April 13, on the West Portico of Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium for Ohio University students Erin DeMarco, Andrea Dennis and Christine Wilson and Ohio State University students Kyle Raulin and Alan Schlessman, who died in a house fire in Columbus, Ohio, on April 13, 2003.
The evening was marked with sadness but also healing, as friends and students gathered to celebrate the lives of the five students.
"Lean on each other," Dean of Students Terry Hogan offered the crowd. "We will always remember the memory of those we have lost." The love and friendship the community had found in its five departed students "are not things we will ever lose," Hogan said.
Songs, poems and thoughtful silences were scattered through out the ceremony. "Life is a gift and this is our time to cherish it," read the lines of a poem.
The service concluded with the bells in Cutler Hall tolling five times for the fives lost. The event was coordinated by the Five Angels Foundation, which was created by Ohio University students Bethany Coupland, Melissa Johns and Michele Baker to honor and remember their friends.
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Related Link: About the Five Angels Foundation