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Memorial for victims of Flight 191 finally unveiled

Bryan Alaspa's picture

It is still the worst non-terrorist airline disaster in U.S. history and now the families of victims of Flight 191 finally have the memorial they have been hoping for since the accident happened.

On a bright sunny day in 1979 a full DC-10 took off from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. It was a United Airlines flight designated 191 and it carried over 200 passengers. Seconds after the plane left the ground one of the engines ripped violently off of one of the wings. The plane tilted sharply to one side where it was captured in a famous photograph. The plane plowed into the earth just across a major road, narrowly missing a trailer park, and barely missing a series of oil tanks. All 200 passengers on board died.

According to media reports, this is still the worst loss of life in a non-terrorist airplane accident in United States history. For years family members of those who died have wanted someone, somewhere, to erect a memorial to their deceased family memeers. The question always was where to put the memorial. The grounds of O’Hare Airport are considered part of Chicago, but the surrounding area belongs to a number of suburbs.

This weekend, now, the family members finally have the memorial that they have always wanted. More than 1,000 family members watched as the memorial to all 273 victims was unveiled in a ceremony on Saturday.

The memorial now stands at Lake Park in suburban Des Plaines, Illinois. The suburb is northwest of Chicago. The crash site itself is still an empty and open field near a series of oil tanks and near a trailer park. No memorial sits there.

The modest memorial is a low-set curves stone wall. The stones bear the names of all of the victims of the crash. There were 271 on boards the plane who died and, when the plane hit the ground, two people on the ground were also killed.


Submitted by Retired SWA F/A (not verified) on
OUCH, Bryan! It was American Airlines flight 191, not United Airlines. How'd you make such a major error in your facts?

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