TWA Flight 800: 20 Years Later

By Brianna Cicero Published on July 18, 2016

Twenty years ago TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 12 minutes after taking off. All 230 people on board were killed, making it the third-deadliest aviation accident in United States Territory.

On Sunday evening a memorial service was held on Long Island at the TWA Flight 800 Memorial for those who were lost in the crash. John Seaman, head of the TWA Flight 800 Families Association, said Sunday that, “It’s been a difficult 20 years. We’ve all suffered. We have persevered. Together and apart, we have persevered.”

Around 8:05 PM various people started to read off the names of the victims. It took about 15 minutes to read through all of the names, ending shortly before 8:31 PM — the time that the flight crashed.

During the ceremony, Kelsey Rogers, 18, sang “Amazing Grace” during the ceremony. Rogers’ sister, Kimberly, was among the victims — dying two years before Rogers was born.

Montoursville, a town in Pennsylvania, lost 16 high school students and five chaperones on Flight 800 who were heading to Paris as a part of Montoursville High School’s French Club. In honor of the 21 people Montoursville lost, citizens participate in 21 random acts of kindness.

Twin 10-year-old sisters, Kara and Kilee Betts, wanted to make sure people had access to a cold drink when it was hot outside. Kilee said, “We’re just handing out waters for Flight 800.”

Jennifer Stanchak, a Mountoursville resident, said, “When you see your high school on CNN, you don’t truly understand what’s going on. I sat there and it took me probably a good two hours to process what happened.”

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