Relatives of American, Canadian, Ethiopian, Kenyan, Rwandan and Italian Victims to Honor Those Lost and to Focus on Aviation Safet
WHAT: Families of victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 crash that killed 157 people in March will hold a memorial vigil outside the U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday at noon. The vigil, which comes six months after the crash, is to remember those who died and to prevent a third crash by keeping the government focused on aviation safety while it decides when and whether the Boeing 737 MAX 8 should be ungrounded.
Participants will include victims’ families from the United States, Canada, Rwanda, Italy and Belgium. They have invited the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation and the House and Senate aviation subcommittees to join them in honoring those who were lost. A group of family members is scheduled to meet with Sec. Elaine Chao at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The families are focused on preventing future aviation crashes. The family members will be in Washington, D.C. through Thursday and available for interviews.
“We do not want the memories of the victims to fade,” said Nadia Milleron, who lost her 24-year-old daughter Samya in the crash. “We want to be partners with government agencies in guaranteeing that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and other aircraft do not kill more passengers.”
Boeing is attempting to start the process to return the Boeing 737 MAX 8 to service. However, international agencies have not accepted Boeing’s proposals, requiring further proof of safety. Victims’ families have requested that the aircraft be fully recertified as a new airplane, which would include an examination of all of its systems.
WHEN: 12 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday, Sept. 10
WHERE: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, D.C.
VISUALS: Participants will display large photos of more than 120 of the 157 victims.
WHO: Vigil attendees will include:
Nadia Milleron and Michael Stumo from Sheffield, Mass. They lost their 24-year-old daughter Samya Rose Stumo.
Chris and Clariss Moore from Toronto. They lost their daughter, Danielle Moore, 24. Danielle was an environmentalist, soon to become a teacher. Her dad, Chris, is an engineer and has read a lot about the 737 MAX. He is in touch with Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, helping Canada exert pressure to enforce more stringent standards with the plane than the FAA has done to date.
Paul Njoroge from Toronto and Kenya, who lost his wife, three children and mother-in-law. Paul is a financial analyst. He testified before the U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee in July. He understands how stock buybacks and resulting bonuses for Boeing executives provided incentives that shorted the company on safety.
Gladys Kivia traveling from Calgary, Canada. She lost her husband Derick Lwugi. He leaves their three young adult children. Derick was the primary breadwinner for not only Gladys and the children but also for both sets of parents, Derick’s and Gladys’, in Kenya.
Huguette Debets traveling from Belgium, lost her partner Jackson Musoni, who worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He leaves their three young children.
Jackson’s older brother Ali Ndahiro, traveling from Rwanda.
Joan Vincent and Roland Rehhorn from north of Toronto, who lost their 24-year-old daughter, Angela, also going to a United Nations forum on the environment.
Elena Dieci, the niece of victim Paolo Dieci. Also Luca, Elena’s father and Paolo’s brother. Elena lives in D.C., but Luca is traveling from Italy to D.C. just for the day to participate in the memorial vigil.
Beza Alemu, brother of victim Mulusew Alemu, traveling to the vigil for the day from St. Louis, Mo.
Naheed Noormohamed, who lost his father, Ameen Ismail Noormohamed, who would have been 73 on the day of the vigil. The family will recognize Ameen’s birthday with white balloons as they walk in front of DOT. “His kindness has reached out across the world as we have also found out. We miss him dearly and he isn’t around physically to see his first grandchild, and she doesn’t get the opportunity to meet him and wish him happy birthday. He loved my banana bread and so I will be baking it on September 10 and will celebrate him.”