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American Eagle Flights 3378 and 3379
Last updated March 2, 2018
A memorial for American Eagle Flights 3378 and 3379 is located in Carpenter Park in Cary, at 4420 Louis Stephens Drive, and about a mile from the Flight 3379 crash site.
Dedicated in 2016, it was created as a six-year effort led by Georgia-based Family Assistance Foundation and a Memorial Committee comprised of people directly involved in both crashes.
The memorial consists of three core components:
The memorial was dedicated in a ceremony on May 14, 2016. This narrative appeared in a supplement to the memorial program:
For each person who perished on Flights 3378 and 3379, a bell was tolled and their name was recited. Family members and friends then came forward to lay flowers and mementos on an empty seat, each of which symbolized one of those 27 cherished souls.
We honored the Flight 3379 survivorsí courage and perseverance by reciting each of their names.
The Fire Department Honor Guard then led a procession to the Memorial itself, where three clergy members led the group in prayer.
Reverend Lourduraj Alapaty, from St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church, began with a general blessing, after which Pastor Josh Franklin of the Good Hope Baptist Church blessed the Flight 3378 Memorial stone and Pastor Ervin E. Milton of the Union Chapel Church of Christ blessed the Flight 3379 Memorial stone.
Of note is that Pastor Milton was the family pastor for Flight 3379 passenger David M. Parker, Jr. As such, he officiated at Officer Parkerís funeral and was instrumental in reaching out to the Parker family to inform them about the Dedication.
After the blessings, all who had laid flowers in remembrance were called to the center of the Memorial. Each member of the group simultaneously released a Monarch butterfly representing one of the 27 souls lost.
The pipe and drum corps concluded the ceremony by playing Amazing Grace while leading a procession back to the tent and parking area.
Details about the memorial and the ceremony are contained in a pair of program documents published by the Family Assistance Foundation:
See also a web page about the memorial at https://www.fafonline.org/flights-3378-3379-memorial, and which features a two-and-a-half minute video story from WRAL.
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Copyright 2019 by Michael J. Legeros