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3 Decades Later, Victims Of America’s Deadliest Plane Crash Get A Memorial

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The crash of American Airlines flight 191 in 1979 was the deadliest in US aviation history. And many of the plane’s victims were from California.

Now, more than three decades later, a long overdue memorial has been established.

Flight 191 left Chicago’s O’Hare airport on May 25, 1979. It was headed to LAX.

There were 273 people aboard. The DC-10 crashed moments after leaving O’Hare.There were no survivors.

Mourners now have a place, finally, to gather and pay respect to their loves ones.

Family members pushed for years to get some kind of memorial established. Deciding on where, who would pay for it…bogged down the project for years.

Kim Jockl lost both her parents on the flight. Now an assistant principal at a Chicago high school, some of her former students — then 6th graders — took on getting a memorial established as their mission. At the dedication ceremony today, Jockl wore a button with her parents’ pictures on it. She told reporters, “We remembered. We never forgot.”

She told Nick Puccinelli, reporting for KCAL9,  that “her parents were probably on a cloud dancing. They were such great dancers!”

After reportedly telling the 6th graders to “let it go,” American Airlines ultimately decided to foot the bill, more than $21,000.

The site: Des Plaines, Illinois, long dubbed the city of destiny and near where the plane crashed down.

Many of the 1,000 people on hand for the unveiling of the memorial reportedly flew in from Los Angeles. Some honoring parents they barely knew.

Investigators ultimately determined that mechanical errors caused the crash.

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