Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407, which flew into a Clarence Center home in 2009. Fifty people, including a pregnant woman, were killed.
The first of several remembrance ceremonies was held Monday afternoon at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, which is home to a memorial for the victims.
Sydney Safran, 11, helped lay the ceremonial wreath. She was just one-year-old when her mother, Kristin Safran, died in the crash.
“There’s a legacy of hope,” said John Kausner, who lost his daughter Elly in the crash and helped organize the ceremony. “Always a loss, but a legacy of hope.”
Carnations were laid on the memorial for all of the victims, including Jean Srnecz, a New Jersey resident who grew up in Wyoming County. She was traveling to Western New York to spend Valentine’s Day with her fiancé Paul Jonmaire.
“It’s amazing to me to see so many people here that were not directly part of the family,” Jonmaire said after the ceremony. “I’m talking about the Red Cross, (former NTSB Chairwoman) Debbie Hersman, and the three politicians.”
Those three politicans were Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Chris Collins, and Rep. Brian Higgins. They’ve spent the last 10 years working on flight safety measures with the families.
“You’re an amazing group of people,” Schumer told the families. “You are Western New York’s greatest generation. You’ve done amazing things.”
Another ceremony will be held Tuesday afternoon at the Clarence Public Library. Then, the families will meet at the Clarence Zion Lutheran Church at 8 p.m., and proceed to the crash site on Long Street in Clarence Center from there.