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Victims Of 35W Bridge Collapse Continue To Inspire

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Every Aug. 1, Father Paul Paris of St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church says a prayer in remembrance of Christina Sacorafas.

“She was just a joy. I start smiling when I talk about her. She would light up a room. A very beautiful person, very giving. A very faithful person,” said Father Paris.

It was Sacorafas’ faith that placed her on the I-35W bridge four years ago. She was actively involved at St. Mary’s, and was on her way there to give dance lessons to some of the kids.

“She actually called here and talked to one of the ladies and said there is traffic, I am running late but I’ll be there,” said Father Paris.

But Sacorafas never showed. She became one of 13 people to die on the bridge that day. Every anniversary, Father Paris and other members of the church come together to remember Sacorafas through prayer.

“She had a lot of living to do and we pray that she is in that good place. We hope she will be thinking of us and we will be thinking of her,” Paris said.

Andrew Hausmann will be thinking of someone, too. His father Peter died that day while trying to help people he never knew, get out of the river.

“He’s influenced me in so many ways in decision-making, and how I look at life,” Hausmann said.

Hausmann was a stand-out football player at Rosemount High School, and in a few weeks he will leave to go to Harvard for college. They are accomplishments his father never got to see, but somehow Hausmann knows — he’d be proud.

“He’s a figure I’m going to have a very hard time living up to,” Hausmann said.

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