BOCA RATON, Fla. - It's an emotional day on campus at Lynn University in Boca Raton as the memorial built in honor of the students and staff killed in the 2010 Haiti earthquake was unveiled.
Every part of the memorial symbolizes something unique about the two professors and four students who lost their lives on January 12, 2010. They were killed when the hotel they were staying in collapsed during the earthquake.
The students who died were Stephanie Cripinelli, Britney Gengel, Christine Gianacaci and Courtney Hayes.
The professors who died were Dr. Richard Bruno and Dr. Patrick Hartwick.
Their memorial is made up of six prisms, a waterfall and features a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. The families say they are pleased with the result.
"Our biggest fear was that they'd be forgotten and they will never be forgotten. It's so beautiful, it's spectacular and it's built out of love. People we will never meet with will know about Christine, Britney, Courtney and Stephanie and it brings us peace," says Cherylann Gengel, Britney's mother.
A majestic blend of color and shimmering light draws people into the beauty of the plaza. The six prisms bare the names of those who died, with the professors on the outside, as if to shield the students from harm. The granite used reflects the victims favorite colors.
"When we look at the stone, it'll remind us of her beautiful blue eyes, and the strength of her being, and like the prism it will shine on, so will Britney's spirit," says Cherylann Gengel.
"It is truly remarkable how the architect captured all of them in this one structure, it's breath-taking," says Jean Gianacaci, Christine's mother.
The loss will always be painful, but today may mark the beginning of peace.
"We're grateful to Lynn for honoring our daughters and dads, and feel blessed our daughters spirits will shine forever," says Len Gengel, Britney's father.
"I'm inspired everyday by the work my father and Dr. Bruno brought these absolutely amazing students together to do. I hope the memorial will inspire everyone to use their own gifts to make their form of change," says Alli Hartwick, daughter of Dr. Patrick Hartwick.
A dedication ceremony was held Friday morning. Honorary degrees in the names of the victims were accepted by their families.