Sioux City wrapped up its commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the crash of United Airlines Flight 232 Sunday. A gathering at the Mid American Museum of Aviation and Transportation honored the 112 people who lost their lives in the 1989 crash, and a garden of reflection was dedicated in their honor.
Captain Al Haynes, the pilot who guided in the stricken DC-10 airliner and helped 184 people survive, was greeted with a standing ovation by a crowd of several hundred.
“We are very grateful and very appreciative of everything that took place in Sioux City,” Haynes says. “And I don’t know how we can possibly explain to you — everybody’s tried — how much has come out of Sioux City. The way pilots are trained, the way flight attendants are trained, the way fire departments are trained, the communications services…that all came out of 232 and what all of you did.”
Jerry Schemmel survived the crash and went on to have a successful sportscasting career with Denver sports teams. Schemmel noted that everyone has a different way of coping, and while many moved forward, others were not able to. “But the world needs to know that out of this terrible tragedy there has also come great triumph for many of us,” Schemmel says. “There are endless stories of survivors and family members of those who have died who have picked up the pieces, who have dusted themselves off, who have moved on and refused to allow the crash of flight 232 and its aftermath to dictate their lives and take away their dreams. Fortunately, there are many more of those stories than the others.”
Schemmel says he will never forget those who died in the crash and says he keeps a list of their names with him in his daytimer. The names of the 112 people who died in the crash were read at the ceremony by the presidents of Briar Cliff University and Morningside College.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)