COMMEMORATION: Emotion and contemplation for the inauguration of a stele in memory of the victims of the air crash of December 24, 1972

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It is with palpable emotion that a commemorative stele erected in tribute to the twelve victims of the air crash that occurred on December 24, 1972 near Princess Juliana airport was inaugurated last Friday on the Marigot Waterfront.

Air Guadeloupe's DHC-6 Twin Otter was on the Pointe-à-Pitre/SXM route (night flight) on December 24, 1972, when it crashed into the sea near Princess Juliana International Airport during its approach phase. No body was found and the cause of the crash was never explained.

Fifty years after this terrible tragedy on the evening of Christmas Eve which left Saint-Martin and Guadeloupe families in mourning, a commemorative stele was erected last Friday at the Pirate roundabout located near the Marigot cemetery.

This place of meditation follows the request of Thierry Rogers, son of Roy Rogers who perished in the plane and Christian Champare, brother of Berno who also lost his life during the crash. This approach was encouraged by the president of the Collectivity, Louis Mussington.

The stele on which the names of the twelve missing persons are inscribed was unveiled and inaugurated on Friday afternoon in the presence of the families of the victims, the elected officials and the representative of the Prefecture, Emilie Nohon in the absence of the prefect Vincent Berton on the move. .

Emotional speech of Thierry Rogers, son of Roy Rogers who disappeared during the crash

“On the night of December 24, 1972, a plane took off from Raizet airport with 12 passengers on board heading for Juliana Sint Maarten airport. A destination they will never reach. There was little evidence. The wreckage itself and the bodies were never found, which remains a mystery to this day.

Shattering dreams and leaving families in grief and pain. And this, as much in Guadeloupe as in Saint-Martin or in Metropolitan France.

Today, after fifty years, we come together to commemorate what was a real tragedy on Christmas Eve.

The process was long in order to find the names of the victims and official documents. We fought and managed to track down all but one of the families. Not everyone could be present today. Nevertheless, we are all united to share this moment that we have all been waiting for: the inauguration of the stele of “the flame of remembrance” in tribute to the victims.

To conclude my remarks, on behalf of the families, we would like to sincerely thank Mr. Louis Mussington, president of the Collectivity and all those without whom all this would not exist. It has been a long wait but by paying tribute as we do, symbolically, we ensure that our loved ones, even if they will always be missed, will never be forgotten.

“To understand who we are, we need to know our history…” _AF

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