Sunday July 16 10:40 PM ET
Ceremony Held for TWA Flight 800
SHIRLEY, N.Y. (AP) - Families and friends of the victims of the TWA Flight
800 explosion broke ground for a new memorial Sunday on the Long Island
shore not far from where the plane went down four years ago killing all
people on board.
About 50 families, from as far away as Australia, were joined by New York
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Gov. George Pataki and U.S. Secretary of
Transportation Rodney Slater, who attended on behalf of President Clinton.
``For the family members, it was an extremely emotional time - this is
they have wanted for a long time,'' said memorial project spokesman Frank
Lombardi. ``It's a special place. It brings them as close as they can to
A private ceremony was scheduled for Monday, the anniversary of the crash.
Organizers have raised about half the money needed for the $1.5 million
which they hope to have built by next summer.
The centerpiece for the memorial will be a 12-foot granite wall with the
the victims. Surrounding the wall will be a contemplative garden, which
described as a series of private areas for people to sit and reflect about
The plane had just left New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport
on July 17, 1996, when an explosion sent it plummeting into the ocean.
determined the explosion occurred in the Boeing 747's center fuel tank,
have persisted that flashes seen in the sky seconds before the explosion
have been a missile.
The National Transportation Safety Board plans to meet next month to go
reports and evidence from the crash and determine a final cause.
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