MEMORIAL by Peter Tiernan • Cleaver Magazine
My girlfriend Jackie and I came across the memorial in a cemetery near our house in Flagstaff, Arizona. It was a slanted stone slab low to the ground with two plaques on it. The smaller described a 1956 midair collision over the Grand Canyon between a TWA Constellation and a United Airlines DC-7 that killed 128 people. The larger listed the names of the sixty-six who were buried there: three Maags, four Kites, two Crewses, and so on. My eye found the groups of matching surnames, and my mind turned them into stories. It seemed odd that this sunny patch of grass, tucked away in the aspens, looking more appropriate for lawn chairs and bocce, would be a memorial to decompression and falling and terror.