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17th anniversary of Centennial Olympic Park bombing

5:59 AM, Jul 29, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Centennial Olympic Park Bombing Anniversary
Men tend to an injured friend after an explosion rocked Centennial Olympic Park on July 27, 1996. (DP/AFP/Getty Images)

ATLANTA -- Visitors to Centennial Olympic Park paused Saturday as they noticed two small vases of roses on what's known as the Quilt of Remembrance.

Someone placed the flowers there anonymously in memory of the two people who died in the bombing at the park 17 years ago.

In 1996, tens of thousands of people were gathered celebrating the Olympics when a a pipe bomb went off.

PHOTOS | Centennial Olympic Park Bombing

Alice Hawthorne, 44, of Albany, Ga., was killed in the blast. A Turkish cameraman, 40-year-old Melih Uzunyol, had a fatal  heart attack while running to the scene.  The bomb injured 111 others.

Years later, Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to the bombing.

This patchwork of concrete and stone called the quilt of remembrance beckons visitors with an eternal shining light in honor of Hawthorne and powerful words about that fateful night.

Alice Hawthorne's sister met with 11Alive's Duffie Dixon and says not a year goes by that she doesn't remember July 27, 1996.

"I still find it hard to believe Alice is gone," Pinkie Huiel said.

While she wants the world to remember how devastating a terrorist attack can be, she prays that other victims have moved forward with their lives.

"I want them to move on for their children and grandchildren. That's what we must do," Huiel said. "Even though it is sad, I don't want people to look at it that way. We won't let that bomber ruin our lives."

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