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Hyatt skywalk memorial provides victims’ families closure and relief

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new sculpture now stands at Hospital Hill Park to remember the 114 people who died in 1981. The names belonged to mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles – all loved ones who died in the Hyatt skywalk collapse.

This sculpture serves as closure for Terrie Grim-Traynor who lost her father 34 years ago.

“My father had my mother out of the way and saved her life. She was in the hospital, she was injured,” says Traynor.

Her parents were there for the Summer Tea Dance. When Traynor heard the news, she grabbed her daughter and jumped on the next plane. That same daughter, Jill Costello, was with her at the dedication.

“I thought, maybe I had died. A huge part had been taken from me. It was horrible,” said Traynor.

Costello was just 15 years old at the time, but says this was the relief her family needed after all these years.

“It’s really nice to have a place to come see and come remember. It’s so nice to have these people work so hard to make this a reality,” Costello said.

The sculpture titled “Sending Love” lists all the names of the people who died on July 17, 1981. Traynor says it’s appropriately named because that’s how she wants the world to remember her parents.

“They were so in love you would think that that’s the way every married couple is supposed to be, that’s the way life was supposed to be,” Traynor said with a smile.