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Hundreds attend USF memorial for 4, Sigma Beta Rho brothers killed in wrong-way crash

12:58 AM, Feb 14, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida-- Hundreds of students packed MLK Plaza at The University of South Florida Thursday afternoon for a somber memorial honoring the four USF fraternity brothers killed in last weekend's tragic crash on I-275. 

Pictures of the victims lined the stage, sending their families into wails of grief.

USF President Judy Genshaft lead the memorial, and honored all four victims with posthumous degrees saying they would always be members of USF.

Photos: Emotional memorial for USF crash victims

One by one, family took the stage, and their words brought the assembly to tears.

"I remember in our last texts to each other, I wanted I say, 'I love you'.  Now I know why I wanted to say it, because I'll never get to say it to him again," said one of the victims' relatives.

For Gihan Ilias, the loss of his brother Jim is excruciating. It choked off his words at the podium, but earlier he spoke clearly.

"He was friendly, always smiled, and had a positive outlook on life," said Ilias.

Dammie Yesudhas' brother Jeremy played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on a ukulele. It was his brother's favorite song, and he remembered him as a gentle soul.

"No matter who he met, he always listened. He truly cared," said Yesudhas.

The final part of the memorial saw the entire fraternity of Sigma Beta Rho salute their fallen brothers with a resounding call to service. 

Normally, most college students are emotionally resilient, but dozens of students and faculty wiped away tears during the memorial, saying it will take a long time before the campus heals.


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