Yesterday relatives of some of the 134 victims of the 1960 plane crash over Park Slope gathered, along with strangers, for a long overdue memorial to the lost souls. Though the 8-foot monument isn't really the first—this plaque has been housed in New York Methodist Hospital's Phillips Chapel for years (it includes coins of Stephen Baltz, who survived the initial crash only to die days later). The Wall Street Journal was on hand at the big unveiling of the new Green-Wood Cemetery memorial, where the brother of one victim said, "It opens up old wounds but in a way it's good for closure. It's something that we never had."
While the crash victims were all recovered and buried elsewhere, the cemetery's president Richard Moylan says the genealogist there only recently discovered that unidentified remains from some of the victims are buried in an unmarked grave that was purchased by United Airlines. This discovery led to the placement of the memorial, which now stands nearby.
Moylan happened to be in Park Slope on the day of the crash (exactly 50 years ago today), and recalled, "I was in school that day when the roar of the plane passed overhead. The shadows were seen on the large windows of the school. Sister had us under our desks, fearing a Soviet attack. And then we prayed the Rosary."
More crash anniversary coverage:
- NY1 was on the scene and has some video of the memorial ceremony.
- Brooklyn Based notes that the Brooklyn Historical Society’s Othmer Library will let you take a peek at their crash documentation today.
- City Room continues their week-long crash series and has published some interviews with reporters who covered the tragedy back in 1960.
- Yesterday we found out that locals have fuselage from the crash hiding out in their backyards!
- Here's our look back in photos, from last year.