Sioux City, IA
Today marks the 25th anniversary of one of the deadliest plane crashes in US History. United Flight 232 flying from Denver to Chicago lost its rear engine, causing the airliner to make a crash landing near Sioux City, Iowa.
The bell rings as people read the list of the 112 people that died as Flight 232 crashed into Sioux City. It is an emotional day during a ceremony remembering the plane crash. People share tears, stories, and memories about what happened 25 years ago.
"We only had about 2 or 3 seats that attached to us. The other part of the aircraft broke up into about 2 to 3 pieces and we did not see them when we got out of the aircraft so we asked the rescues what had happen and he said that it disintegrated, everybody had gone," Flight Attendant Donna Summerhill McGrady said.
Barb Shereck lost three family members on that plane. She was glad to tell the story of her lost loved ones to other's affected by the crash, but the event has taken a toll on her.
"At this point after two days, I'm so emotionally drained I could keel over, but you know it's more or less been an honor to represent them and God only knows what they went through at the very end," Barb Shereck said.
The event wasn't just about remembering those lost, but applauding the people and the community that came together to save so many.
"I've tried to give a little back," Cliff Marshall said.
Cliff Marshall is one of the 184 people who survived. He gave blood today to pay tribute to the Sioux City residents that donated blood after the crash. He says what the crew did not just during the crash, but before was crucial to saying many lives. When the rear engine first exploded, the crew gave limited information to the passengers.
"In hindsight that was a good idea because it kept any thought of panic down," Cliff Marshall said.
People gave Captain Al Haynes a standing ovation Saturday. Haynes says what he and his crew did that day wasn't heroic, but just people doing their job. Donna Summerhill McGrady, one of the flight attendants aboard Flight 232, agrees with her captain.
"We worked so well as a team. I'm a very spiritual person and it's really amazing how people click. Just like in Sioux City. When we landed, the people, just everybody pulled together," McGrady said.
That's why Marshall says while it was a horrible crash, it couldn't have happened in a better place.
"This plane came down in a town that was big enough to supply the needs for it but not too big that they became indifferent," Marshall said.
Which is why he still considers Sioux City a home of angels, a quarter of a century later.
There will be a memorial service for those lost at the Anderson Dance Pavilion tomorrow morning.