A proclamation during the Town of Chapel Hill's Council meeting brought everyone in the audience to their feet. There was a standing ovation as February 10 was declared Our Three Winners Day.
The date marks three years since Deah Barakat, his wife, Yusor Abu-Shaka, and her sister Razan Abu-Salha were killed.
"It's definitely been a long three years," said Deah Barakat's brother Farris. "There is still this looming black cloud on the horizon and it's the trial. The trial still hasn't happened."
The college students were shot at their home in Chapel Hill.
A representative from Our Three Winners Foundation said the nonprofit staff strives every day to honor the victims through community service.
"We want to try carrying on their legacy by focusing on the positive that they had in their lives because though we lost them in a very tragic manner, that tragedy does not define how they lived their lives," said Operations Director Nida Allam.
To date, the foundation has handed out more than $100,000 in scholarships and grants. Money has also gone to the project Refugee Smiles, which Deah Barakat was raising funds for before he was fatally shot. That project helps Syrian refugees with dental care.
"This speaks to how truly incredible they were for us to continue to be here, for friends to live continue to show up and give support," Farris Barakat said.