9/11 widow dies in New York air crash
The Irish Independent
Saturday February 14 2009
Her husband died in the attack on the World Trade Centre after phoning to say that he loved her. Yesterday, as she flew to commemorate his 58th birthday and to establish a scholarship in his name at the high school where they met, Beverly Eckert also met her death in a fiery plane crash.
The outspoken September 11 widow was among 50 people who died when a Continental Connection commuter plane nosedived into a house in upstate New York, killing everyone on board and one person on the ground.
Last week Ms Eckert met President Barack Obama at the White House when he briefed the families of terrorism victims on the new US administration's approach to terror suspects.
"Tragic events such as these remind us of the fragility of life, and the value of every single day," Mr Obama said yesterday.
"One person who understood that well was Beverly Eckert, who was on that flight, and who I met with just a few days ago. Beverly lost her husband on 9/11 and became a tireless advocate for those families whose lives were forever changed on that September day. She was an inspiration to me and to so many others, and I pray that her family finds peace and comfort in the hard days ahead."
Continental Connection Flight 3407 from Newark, New Jersey, went down at 10.20pm local time on Thursday while preparing to land at Buffalo-Niagara airport, the tourist gateway to the Niagara Falls.
If you are tuned to jazz you'll probably know that one of Chuck Mangione's major sideman was silenced in the same accident. Gerry Niewood, saxophone and flute, also perished. Chuck and Gerry were central in the creation of the classic Children of Sanchez album. You can listen to a little of Gerry's music
on his myspace--music page.
Post script-- I just realized after reading the passenger manifest that another brilliant jazz musician was lost on the same flight. Coleman Mellett was a guitarist
travelling with Gerry.
(suppliment by tf)