A memorial rests at the site of the crash of Flight 3407, displaying the names of each victim.
Many of us know exactly where we were, what we were doing and whom we were with on Feb. 12, 2009 when we heard the news of the crash of Continental Flight 3407 in Clarence Center. This nationally known tragedy not only devastated the residents of Clarence and Western New York but also made a huge impact on fliers throughout the entire country.
On Tuesday, families gathered in Washington D.C. and at the site of the crash, 6038 Long St., Clarence Center to remember the loss of loved ones and to push for the passing of legislation for aviation safety. The families have made several trips back and forth to D.C. to continue their fight for stricter regulations, spending their time and money to make all of us safer.
Since the crash, the families of Flight 3407 have already greatly influenced the passage of PL 111-216, a legislation reform that greatly changed aviation safety.
They’ve turned their tragic losses into something that will benefit our entire nation and they’re not done yet. They continue to push for further regulations that will make the passengers and crew safer in the air.
“Everyone I talk to in Clarence is very positive and supportive of the families of Flight 3407 and very grateful,” said Town of Clarence Supervisor David Hartzell.
He added that the Clarence residents and all airline passengers want to be on the safest possible plane with the best pilot they can have and these safety issues are all being addressed by the families to keep the rest of America from going through a tragedy like this again.
“I have a tremendous amount of admiration for the families and what they’ve done,” said Hartzell, “They didn’t have to do this. They could’ve not spent their time and money to make the change.”
Hartzell added that the town’s initial reaction to the crash was to grieve for the victims and their families but soon realized that instead of mourning, they needed to make a change and this is exactly what the families of the victims have done and intend to continue.
A candlelight vigil was held at the crash site where Clarence residents and more gathered to honor those who lost their lives in the crash and to support the families who lost a loved one that day.
A memorial now stands at the site, displaying the name of each person who lost his or her life in the crash. Lining the walkway of the memorial on Tuesday were candle-lit lanterns with the names as well. Hartzell said that a design for another memorial is “on the drawing board” to put in at the library.
On Feb. 12 and everyday, we remember the names and their families that are listed on that memorial on Long Street and continue to hope for more changes in the safety regulations for airlines.