Buffalo, New York – February 12, 2019 – Tuesday, February 12th, 2009 will mark the 10th anniversary of the tragic regional airline crash of Continental Flight 3407 operated by Colgan Air that took the lives of all on board and one man on the ground. The families and friends of those lost will gather in Buffalo to commemorate the victims in a series of events at the crash site on Long Street, at Forest Lawn Cemetery, and at the Flight 3407 Memorial at the Clarence Library. Additionally the entire Western New York community will recognize the anniversary as the Peace Bridge, Niagara Falls, Buffalo City Hall, Erie County Hall and other portions of the downtown skyline will be lit in red on the evening of the 12th.
In conjunction with the anniversary, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ issued the following statement:
They were accomplished musicians. Successful business people. An internationally renowned human rights expert. Defense contractors dedicated to our nation’s security. A couple and their 12-year-old son. Vietnam veterans. An off-duty pilot.
They were parents. Spouses. Siblings. Children. Grandparents. Uncles. Aunts. Cousins. Dear friends. And so much more.
Many were from Buffalo and Western New York. A good share were from New Jersey where the flight originated. Some even came from as far as China and Israel. Their reach truly spanned the globe.
On February 12th, 2009, an unspeakable tragedy occurred outside of Buffalo, New York, as a flight operated by a regional air carrier crashed into a home, taking the lives of everyone on board and one man on the ground. It created a hole in the lives of so many, a pain that persists to this day, and one that will never be able to be completely overcome.
Collectively, the world lost so many wonderful people that day. People who had already accomplished so much, and sadly, still had so much to offer.
10 years later, their memory continues to burn brightly, and many of us gather in Buffalo to honor their lives. Countless more will remember them across the nation and around the world. We remember them for not just everything that they did, but for how they made us feel. The smiles. The laughs. The hugs.
But beyond their individual impacts, collectively their loss has created a very powerful legacy. Inspired by the lives that they lived and the way that they touched so many, we as their families and friends have made it our quest to ensure that the mistakes that led to the very preventable tragedy of Flight 3407 are never allowed to repeat themselves.
One decade later, we can say that something positive has come from this disaster. Landmark aviation safety legislation unanimously passed by Congress. Stronger regional airline safety measures implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation. It truly has been a team effort.
And the results speak for themselves. No fatal crashes. The safest period in commercial air travel that is now three times longer than the previous period and counting. Parents returning home to their children from business trips. Children coming home from school at the end of the semester. Families enjoying their vacations. Loved ones being able to celebrate a holiday with their families.
In memory of those beautiful lives needlessly cut short, a difference has been made. We vow to continue the fight in their honor. It is our fervent hope that those in Washington and aviation industry stakeholders across the nation will do the same, and never forget those who perished on Flight 3407.