One-Year American Airlines Flight 1420 Memorial and Reunion

The conception of worth, that each person is an end per se, is not a mere abstraction. Our interest in it is not merely academic. Every outcry against the oppression of some people by other people, or against what is morally hideous is the affirmation of the principle that a human being as such is not to be violated. A human being is not to be handled as a tool but is to be respected and revered.
~Felix Adler, The Ethical Philosophy of Life

One-Year Photos


One-Year Articles


One-Year Agenda


AA1420 Memorial Reunion Program and Schedule of Events
originaly presented as a tri-fold program, follow links for more information

Cover Sheet
In Memory of...
Schedule of Events
River Front Memorial Service
Candlelight Vigil at Crash Site
Survivor Statement, Reading by Kristy Sheridan & Julia Ferganchick
Special Thanks
Lyrics Kumbaya
Lyrics Amazing Grace

AA 1420

Memorial Reunion

June 1, 2000
Little Rock , Arkansas


In Loving Memory of the passengers
who lost their lives as a result of the
AA1420 crash . . .

Mary Elizabeth Couch
Rachel Renee Fuller
Sara “Sue” Ramey Gray
James Harrison
Betty Evelyn Ingram
Gordon Gent McLerran
Linda Joyce McLerran
Debra Ann Sattari
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Stewart
Judy Thacker



  9:00 a.m. Packets and badges available
10:00 a.m.

Memorial Service (Open to Public)
River Front Park - behind Excelsior

11.30 a.m.

Buses leave park for Aerospace Education Center (AEC)

12:00 p.m.

Luncheon at AEC (Private*)
3301 E. Roosevelt Road

 1:45 p.m.

Buses leave AEC for hangar (Private - all those viewing wreckage must ride bus and sign consent form)

 2:00 p.m.

1420 family viewing of wreckage (Private) Cameras, recorders allowed; Red Cross representatives available

 4:15 p.m.

Buses return to AEC

 4:30 p.m. Buses return to Excelsior Hotel
 5:00 p.m. Optional media interviews
 7:00 p.m. 1420 family gathering - Excelsior lobby
 9:30 p.m. Buses leave for AEC
10:30 p.m. Buses leave AEC for Crash Site
(all those attending the candlelight vigil must ride bus)
11:00 p.m.

Candlelight Vigil (Private)
Little Rock Airport - Crash Site

12:00 a.m. Buses return to AEC
12:15 a.m. Buses return to Excelsior Hotel
  * Private events for 1420 family members and survivors only


Riverside Memorial Service


Mr. Dennis McCarty

Speaker Mayor Jim Dailey
Speaker Mr. John Goglia, NTSB Member
Speaker Governor Mike Huckabee
Reading 1420 Survivors
Speaker Dr. Charles Fuller

Releasing of the wreaths (and doves) for the deceased

Playing of Taps

Little Rock Air Force Base
Honor Guard and Bugler

In memory of MSgt. Jeff Stewart
provided by the US Air Force
Closing Prayer Dr. Charles Fuller

Candlelight Vigil

Lighting of candles and singing of Kumbaya
Opening Prayer
Group Fellowship
      Opportunity to briefly express personal thoughts
Moment of Silence at 11:51 p.m.
Singing of Amazing Grace
Closing Prayer



Survivor Statement
by Kristy Sheridan & Julia Ferganchick

One year ago today, 139 passengers waited anxiously at the Dallas -Forth Worth airport for clear weather, to continue on our personal journeys. We were strangers, worried about the flight, concerned about the night, all brought together in the confines of an MD82. None of us knew how the journey would end, or that it would seem to have no ending. For all it was a change of course, unexpected, unwelcome, and unforgiving. That journey continues.

We range in age from 2 to 81. We are parents, children, business people, students, friends and families. Some traveled together, some alone. Every seat held a soul from a different background and phase of life. We were as physically close as any strangers get.

Together we were tossed around formidable skies, lightning pierced the tortured darkness. Battering rain and torrents of wind hurled our plane and our lives into turmoil. Some panicked, some were unsuspecting, some prayed for mercy. As we approached our destination, most were terrified. Something was terribly wrong.

Then came the deafening pandemonium of crashing, ripping, burning. For an instant—silence. Then, cries of anguish and terror began as flames ripped through the broken remains of our plane. Heaven's ironic gift was torrential rain to quench the fire and lightning to show the way out.

Angels were among us in the form of injured but willing bodies who helped those in worse condition than themselves. They carried those who could not escape on their own, battling fire and hail in the struggle to free those who were bound in the broken and burning metal grave.

We were empowered by the strength of God, overcoming the pain and fear to push and pull, catch and carry our brothers and sisters. Some held cold elderly hands, some horrified children. Some gave up their own clothing to stem the blood, attempting to hold in the life of the injured. All tried to bridge the chasm between fear and safety with faith.

As we endured the assault of nature's fierceness, in the violence of wet and frigid darkness, strangers formed bonds of love. In the aftermath of tragedy, we watched flames consume the twisted wreckage that had, only moments prior, been our fortress. We spoke and sang encouragement to each other.

It was real, but surreal. We were living it, but it was a dream. It was an unfathomable nightmare that would not seem to cease. Death was with us. God was with us. Torrential storms, blasting hail, and stinking fumes and fire like Hades surrounded us. There was intense physical pain and emotional agony like none we had ever imagined. For many, this part of the journey continues.

Today, those strangers of June first, 1999 have been transformed into a family. Our number is smaller by ten. Every day we grieve for the lives that were ripped from us, and every day we pray that those lives were not taken in vain.

We stand together today, as we did that night. We grieve because we are changed forever. We seek to honor the dead by demanding improvement in a system that failed us. We will not rest nor be quiet until meaningful change is accomplished. We will never be the same. Our hearts will never be far apart. We will never forget, and together, we will not be forgotten.


Special Thanks to . . .

University Printing
Zion Lutheran Church of Avilla
First Southern Baptist Church of Bryant
Immanuel Baptist Church of Little Rock
American Red Cross
Arrow Coach Lines
Chef's Market & Deli
Statehouse Convention Center
Coca Cola Bottling Company
National Transportation and Safety Board
National Air Disaster Alliance
AIPS Laminating
Letta's Flowers
Doves of Love
Discount Trophy
City of Little Rock
IMAX Theatre
Excelsior Hotel
Little Rock Airport
Little Rock Parks and Recreation
1420 Family Members and Survivors


(Come by Here)
Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya (repeat)
Someone's crying, Lord, kumbaya (repeat)
Someone's praying, Lord, kumbaya (repeat)

Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya (repeat)


Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch
  like me! I once was lost, but now am found; was
  blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my
  fears relieved; how precious did that grace appear
  the hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already
  come; 'tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and
  grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me, his word my hope
  secures; he will my shield and portion be, as long as
  life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life
  shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, a life of
  joy and peace.
When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining
  as the sun, we've no less days to sing God's praise
  than when we'd first begun.


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