ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WMAR) - A bench is a place to rest, to reflect. On Rose Mayr, "Your free and caring spirit left this earth too soon.” On Elizabeth Nass, "Live joyously.. Peace."
The benches were unveiled in a private ceremony with the families on Friday evening.
"She was a lovely person and a beautiful young lady," said Sean Russell, a family friend of Elizabeth Nass.
A block away, a CSX train rolls in the same spot where cars derailed on August 20, 2012, spilling coal onto Main St. and trapping two victims.
"I think about it every time I walk under that bridge because I always park on the other side," said Jessi DeThomas, who works at the Phoenix Emporium.
"It's still today when you drive under it. I don't want to stop under it. I want to make sure I keep going," said Dave Carney, owner, The Wine Bin.
Carney is also the past president of the Ellicott City Business Association. Main St. was shut down for four days.
"There was a positive though. The association and the businesses, the neighborhood, have come together. It's amazing what a strong community this is," said Carney.
Businesses raised over $2,000 to place the benches. On Saturday morning, over 500 people are signed up for a two-mile run..
Two miles to remember the two friends, both 19 years old, and both Mt. Hebron High School graduates.
"It was a very eerie feeling being down here," said Carney.
It's a feeling that has not faded for people walking downtown. The benches placed at Tiber Park and the run through Ellicott City show support for Rose Mayr, who was on track to be a nurse, and Elizabeth Nass, who loved children and wanted to be a special education teacher.
"The tragedy touched us all and it continues to touch us all from time to time," said Russell.
The race will benefit two scholarships: The Elizabeth Nass Memorial Scholarship and the Howard Hospital Foundation for Rose Mayr Nursing Scholarship.
Runners start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, August 17 th at 3700 Court House Dr.in Ellicott City.
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