Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

Associated Press


"TWA Flight 800 Memorial Unveiled

.c The Associated Press

SHIRLEY, N.Y. (AP) - Relatives and friends of the 230 people killed in the
1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 met on a wind-whipped bluff Sunday to dedicate a
permanent memorial to the victims.

``I hope this special day finds you a little stronger, a little happier, a
little more secure in the faith that those who live on in our hearts are
never truly gone,'' Gov. George Pataki told the hundreds gathered at Smith
Point Park on Long Island's south shore.

The bluff is the nearest point of land to where the plane went down July 17,
1996, and overlooks a beach where debris washed ashore. The black granite
memorial, designed by architect David Busch, has a gray wave and 230 gray
doves on one side and the names of the victims inscribed on the other.

``It brings back some memories - not easy ones, but the ones I don't want to
forget,'' said Burt James, 45, whose niece, Rebecca Olsen, 20, of Macon, Ga.,
died in the crash.

The Paris-bound Boeing 747 exploded in a fireball at 13,700 feet, minutes
after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board ruled two years ago that an
explosion in the center fuel tank caused the aircraft to disintegrate in
flight. It said vapors in the nearly-empty tank probably were ignited by a
spark in wiring.

The FBI concluded in a separate criminal investigation that there was no
evidence a bomb or missile destroyed the plane.""

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