George Hatcher's TownSquare

Airblue 202: July 28, 2015

Set of red candles burning in the dark with selective focus

Set of red candles burning in the dark with selective focus

A Message to all Surviving Family Members

Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them.

Those are words by another George—the Victorian novelist Mary Anne Evans whose pen name was George Elliot.

“Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them.” No truer words were ever spoken. But there are so many dead to remember in the world of plane crashes. In the world of plane crashes, some disasters manage to make it into the spotlight

Like MH370, where more money has been spent on looking for the wreckage than the families will ever receive;
Like MH17 the casualty of a civil war that looks like it might split the world;
Like Germanwings 9525 whose memorial this weekend in the French Alps leaves so fresh a wound, I wonder how the families will ever heal.


Some disasters, big or small, just as tragic, manage to bypass the attention of the world stage. Or people just forget. It is the calendar that calls me to remember this flight, these families, that the world seems to have forgotten. Because it is July 28. The calendar forces me to remember another July 28 back in 2010 when I first heard that Airblue Flight 202, an Airbus 321 with 152 souls aboard, had crashed into the Margalla Hills of Pakistan.

I have heard news that is troubling. That there are families who lost loved ones on Airblue Flight 202 that have still not received compensation. This does not seem just to me, but I am only one man. One man looking at the names of 152 dead, 152 souls whose families, whose lives were abruptly and violently changed. 152 souls multiplied by their families and loved ones. That is a wide reach, a lot of injured hearts and lives.

This is one of those corners of the world I have mentioned before, where life seems to be held cheaply. I grieve for the families‘ loss, the loved ones whose candles were snuffed out, whose birthday songs will never again be sung. Six crew; 119 men. 29 women; 5 children; 2 babies. I say to the victims, the world may have forgotten you. Pakistan, and Airblue may be sweeping you under the rug as if your lives never happened. But you are remembered. Your families have not, and will not forget you. Nor have I.


It is the duty of the living to cry out for justice. So I say this here and now, and hope that someone is listening. Let there be justice and compassion for the families of Airblue202. I never knew you, but I knew some of your families; and on this day of remembrance, this July 28, I will remember you. I will never forget you.

Love letter and rose on wooden background,close up

Love letter and rose on wooden background,close up

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