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 230
                  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 something 
                  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 their family

                  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 project, 
                  which they hope to have built by next summer.

                  The centerpiece for the memorial will be a 12-foot granite wall with the names of 
                  the victims. Surrounding the wall will be a contemplative garden, which Lombardi
                  described as a series of private areas for people to sit and reflect about the crash.

                  The plane had just left New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport for Paris
                  on July 17, 1996, when an explosion sent it plummeting into the ocean. Investigators 
                  determined the explosion occurred in the Boeing 747's center fuel tank, but theories 
                  have persisted that flashes seen in the sky seconds before the explosion may
                  have been a missile.

                  The National Transportation Safety Board plans to meet next month to go over 
                  reports and evidence from the crash and determine a final cause.

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