Relatives dedicate Flt. 261 memorial

Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2003

PORT HUENEME, Calif. - Families of the 88 people killed when an Alaska Airlines flight spiraled out of control and into the ocean three years ago gathered on a Southern California beach Friday to dedicate a bronze memorial to the memory of their loved ones.

The giant bronze sundial sculpture with leaping dolphins at its base and 88 plaques bearing the victims' names was dedicated three years to the day Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashed 10 miles off shore, killing everyone aboard.

"What then can we the living learn from this tragedy?" said sculptor James "Bud" Bottoms. "That life is short, and we never know when it will end. So we celebrate our lives today and the lives of those who have passed on but will remain in our hearts and we move toward peace and reconciliation."

Names of victims were read, a bell sounding with each, and relatives placed flowers by the plaques.

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