Buffalo New York, August 10, 2023 – The Families of Flight 3407 will gather once again on Long Street in Clarence Center, New York for a re-dedication ceremony at the memorial where the February 2009 crash occurred. The event is scheduled for Saturday, August 12th, at 11:00 am.
The memorial, established on the property where the Wielinski family home once stood, commemorates all those whose lives were lost in the crash. The rededication ceremony will feature significant additions to the site, designed to provide visitors with a better understanding of the crash and its aftermath.
One of the notable additions is new signage which will offer an account of the crash along with a summary of the landmark airline safety legislation that emerged from the efforts of “The Families of Flight 3407” – a group which formed shortly after the tragedy. Among the poignant features of this sign is an artistic representation of fifty leaves- one with a tiny leaf inside- symbolizing the lives lost as well as the unborn child who perished.
Another newly introduced structure will house a plaque explaining the memorial’s unique design elements, providing insight into the symbolism and concept behind the memorial’s creation.
John Kausner, who lost his 24-year-old daughter and law student Ellyce in the crash, expressed the purpose of the memorial and the ceremony, stating ” We have a memorial stone at the site that says, ‘Never Forget’. As the years go by, many in Congress do not remember what happened here. Our commitment is to make sure they never forget the causes of this unnecessary tragedy”.
The event will also pay tribute to the bipartisan efforts of Congressmen Brian Higgins, Nicholas Langworthy, and Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, who successfully championed the removal of language from the House FAA Reauthorization bill. This language would have allowed new pilots to spend a greater number of hours in a flight simulator rather than in an actual cockpit when working toward the 1500-hour requirement.
“We hope this re-dedication reminds everyone of the critical importance of maintaining the safety standards that were established in the Airline Safety Act of 2010” stated Karen Eckert, who lost her sister and 9/11 advocate Beverly Eckert in the crash. “‘The Families of Flight 3407’ extend their heartfelt gratitude to our Western New York Representatives, to Senators Schumer, Gillibrand and Duckworth, and to Ambassador “Sully” Sullenberger for their unwavering dedication to preserving the safety standards that have contributed to making these last 14 years the safest in US commercial aviation history.”
The event will feature speakers from the Western New York Congressional delegation, local dignitaries and family members.