mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)

This Day in History, 1987: Northwest Flight 255

Eighteen years ago today was the crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 255. The plane was scheduled to fly from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus, Michigan near Detroit to John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California, with an intermediate stop at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. The flight crashed just after takeoff in Detroit, killing all of the passengers except for a four-year-old girl named Cecelia Cichan, whose parents and younger brother all died in the accident.

I had no personal connection to the flight, but I remember the horrible images on television and on the front pages of the New York City newspapers. I also remember how people referred to the rescue of Ms. Cichan as a miracle. While I have no problem with the idea of her rescue being miraculous, I do remember being upset with a quote from someone saying that God had interceded to rescue her. It seems to me that it's a small step from believing that to asking why God didn't intercede for everyone else on the plane, and I don't think we want to go there.

Ms. Cichan was sent to live with relatives in Alabama, who have done a good job in helping her maintain a private life. Last year, she posted on the Flight 255 Memorial Guestbook that she's doing fine, is willing to talk to family and friends of the crash victims, but doesn't want to be bothered by reporters. I'm glad to hear that she managed to put the tragedy of her early life behind her, and I hope the media respects her wishes for privacy.

Other references:
Wikipedia: Northwest Airlines Flight 255
Wikipedia: Cecelia Cichan
Tags: history, personal

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