|Cerritos Mayor Carol Chen reflecting|
August 31, 2011
7:53 p.m. PST
Cerritos gathered together as a community to remember the day that changed to lives of thousands of people all over the world and that left a hole in the heart of a city forever.
On Wednesday, under pristine blue skies, hundreds of family, friends, community leaders, neighbors, and members of the media gathered at an emotional memorial ceremony to remember those who died in the August 31st, 1986 Cerritos Air Disaster.
Cerritos city officials read a list of names of the victims who perished that somber day, laid a wreath at a memorial inside the Cerritos Sculpture Garden, listened to heartfelt and emotional stories, and just paused to reflect on the 25th anniversary of the biggest air disaster in the history of Los Angeles County.
Family and friends of victims along with city leaders held each other under a bright clear, sunny summer sky and recalled the crash of Aeromexico Flight 498 on Aug. 31, 1986.
The DC-9 and a small plane collided at 6,500 feet and fell onto homes. The crash killed 67 people on the planes and 15 on the ground.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, who was mayor of Cerritos at the time, says it was a fearful and painful moment in time that he'll never forget. "We will all remember that day. It was bright, sunny, a beautiful day here in Cerritos, just like today, and then something went terribly wrong," Knabe told those gathered. "Our lives changed forever that day, and it was the day the Cerritos had so much taken away from our heart and soul," Knabe said as he recalled the emotions of that day.
|Ashworth and Holmes. August 31, 1986|
Current Cerritos Mayor Carol Chen, along with Mayor Pro-Tem Joseph Cho and Councilman Bruce Barrows, and Joseph Cho read a list of all 82 people who died in the two plane crash. Chen also led the Memorial ceremony in a moment of silence at the exact time in which the crash took place at exactly 11:56 a.m. As ringing bells sounded, the hundreds who had gathered, including several members of the Southern California media who actually reported on the news to the world about the crash during that Labor Day Weekend, stood in silence and reflected.
|Patrick Healy: NBC LA and me at Ashworth and Holmes today|
|Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe|
Koepke also recalled ministering to a wife and mother who was returning from the store when the jetliner smashed into her house, claiming 3 members of her family.
"She let out a moan like I've never heard and never will hear again," he said.