Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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3407 vigil expected to be smaller with families in Washington

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: 3407 vigil expected to be smaller with families in Washington
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While many family members of the victims on Flight 3407 are spending the four-year anniversary of the crash in Washington D.C., others plan to light a candle in Clarence Center to honor those who passed away.

CLARENCE CENTER, N.Y. — A group of about 50 family members and supporters of the victims of the Flight 3407 plane crash are headed to Washington to make sure Congress continues to implement and strengthen FAA safety reforms.

"We had to go down there anyway and we figured it would make more of an impact to go down there on the anniversary," Jennifer West, whose husband died in the crash, said.

It's a change from the past three anniversaries, when many of them visited the site of the crash.

"Initially, the thrust was on really the remembrance of 3407 and now it's on taking action and making sure this 3407 never happens again, so I think it's kind of morphed and changed but I think it's really in a positive direction," David Hartzell, Clarence Town Supervisor, said.

Hartzell said there will still be a candlelight vigil Tuesday in Clarence Center at 10:17, the time of the crash.

"There will be some people, mostly local Clarence residents that will come out and walk," Hartzell said.

For the first time, the vigil will be held at the completed memorial site, which was dedicated this summer.

"This is exactly the way we wanted to come out," Hartzell said. "This is a small memorial. It's very low key. If you didn't know it was the memorial, there's no sign out front, no blinking lights. You wouldn't know what it was."

He expects eventually family members will spend the anniversary in Clarence Center again. But he's not sure when.

"I think next year if you haven't seen any changes in the laws or the FAA is not pushing the laws, I think the families will be back and God bless them for going to Washington and making that push," he said. "If not them, nobody else will do it."

But family of the victims said it's important to be together no matter where they are.

"We can relate," West said. "And as much as family and friends try to, they just have no idea what we've been through. So it's extremely comforting to be with them around this time because we all know what we're feeling."

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