FRANKLIN, Ind. - For years to come, football fans at Franklin Community High School will see a permanent reminder of the two students who drowned trying to save a friend this summer.
A bench was dedicated in honor of Michael Chadbourne, 16, and Jason Moran, 17, at the first home game of the season Friday night.
Their families stood together to support one another during the dedication -- with the memories from the June accident still fresh in their minds.
Two plaques were displayed on the bench -- one for each victim with his football jersey number.
"We just wanted to have it somewhere where it could always be here permanently on the field, so that's the best place where we could have it," Franklin Community High School Athletic Director John Regas said.
Alongside the families of Chadbourne and Moran was Sarah McLevish -- their friend who they tried to save after she was swept over a dam in Edinburgh’s Big Blue River.
"Tonight we are really honoring Jason and Michael and hoping that Sarah gets well and continues to get better," sophomore Annika Cooper said.
Throughout the game, the community wore reminders of the two young men who should have been on the field.
Students sold "Franklin Strong" pens and T-shirts to make sure the memory of their two classmates will continue to live on.
"The community, the students, the faculty, teachers, everyone has really, really done a great job of coming together, making T-shirts, making buttons, making hats, making bracelets, doing fundraisers for the community and the families involved," Regas said.
The parents of both teens came up with the idea for the bench.
'Suspicious' fire at South Bend property kills 1
Investigators are trying to determine the identity of a person found dead in a burning pole barn near South Bend and the cause of the fire…
50-ft. gas line fire burns for hours after crash
Hours after a county-road crash, crews were able to put out flames from a gas line that had ignited.
Extra $740K for domestic violence shelters
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute has announced a plan to make $740,426 more available to 43 domestic violence shelters already…
Police find trailer from gun store robbery
A trailer that once contained dozens of high-powered weapons and 20,000 rounds of ammunition was recovered on the city's north side after it…
$40M south-side construction project nearing end
The end is near for a major construction project on the city's south side.
Man pleads guilty after deadly freak accident
A South Bend man has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident while driving intoxicated causing serious bodily injury in a freak…