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updated: 9/30/2011 12:08 PM

Flight 191 memorial work begins in Des Plaines

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  • The first course of bricks for the Flight 191 Memorial was laid and leveled at Lake Park Thursday.

      The first course of bricks for the Flight 191 Memorial was laid and leveled at Lake Park Thursday.
    Courtesy of Des Plaines Park District

  • Work begins Thursday on the American Airlines Flight 191 Memorial with the removal of flagstones at Des Plaines Park District's Lake Park.

      Work begins Thursday on the American Airlines Flight 191 Memorial with the removal of flagstones at Des Plaines Park District's Lake Park.
    Courtesy of Des Plaines Park District

  • Existing planter wall stones are removed Thursday at Lake Park to make way for the Flight 191 Memorial that will be unveiled on Oct. 15.

      Existing planter wall stones are removed Thursday at Lake Park to make way for the Flight 191 Memorial that will be unveiled on Oct. 15.
    Courtesy of Des Plaines Park District

 
Submitted by Des Plaines Park District

Work began Thursday on a memorial for American Airlines Flight 191 at the Des Plaines Park District's Lake Park.

The flight crashed on May 25, 1979, in a field in Elk Grove Township shortly after taking off from O'Hare International Airport, killing 273 people, including 271 passengers and crew members.

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The planter wall and flagstones on the southeast corner of Touhy Avenue and Lee Street were removed to make way for a 2-foot-high by 70-foot-long interlocking brick wall engraved with the names of the passengers. A bronze plaque included in the memorial will honor the pilots and flight crew.

"We are proud to be the home of this beautiful tribute and congratulate the Decatur Classical School for their tireless efforts to bring it to fruition," said John Hecker, Des Plaines Park District executive director.

The memorial commemoration ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 15. Guest speakers will include U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Evanston Democrat who coordinated funding for the project, state Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat who was a liaison with Decatur Classical School teachers and students and the park district, and Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan.

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