The Ides of Germanwings: One Year Later

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
By George Hatcher

There is a time to go about our daily business. There is a time to set everything else aside, and just remember. Now it is time to remember.

Dusseldorf airport set aside a room for German family members of the 72 Germans who lost their lives on Flight 9525.

Today in Barcelona, flags were at half-mast and 149 candles lit as people gathered at Barcelona Airport to recall the victims of the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525. On 24 March 2015, one year ago as of tomorrow, Flight 9525 was en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when it crashed in the French Alps, killing 144 passengers, two pilots, and four cabin crew. The tragedy was engineered by suicidal co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. Family members gathered here, as well as emergency workers and officials.

There were fifty-one Spanish lost in the crash. Four countries (including the US) lost three victims; seven countries lost two victims, and five countries lost one. I hope that all the families, where ever they live, found comfort somewhere.

On Thursday, the victims’ names will be read and remembered; flowers will be left at the Le Vernet cemetery which houses the accident’s unidentified remains. Six hundred Flight 9525 victim’s friends and family will have a commemoration ceremony in Le Vernet village in the French Alps not far from the crash site. Weather prevents a visit to the crash site.

I was in Le Vernet last July when 149 balloons were released. I can’t help but feel that I should be there again to support the families. I have just returned from Barcelona, and barely unpacked my bags. I can only hope that the year of mourning and grieving has been cathartic, and that the families are finding a way to embrace life again.

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