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Amazing desert monument honors victims of 1989 Congo plane crash

Check out the incredible story of how the massive memorial was built
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Chiara O. Scuri, November 22, 2013 8:23:39 AM

How many times have you heard, “Your project sounds like a great idea, but sadly we don’t have the resources to give it a green light”?

Chances are, many, many times. It’s a popular refrain in wealthy societies. Sorry. We can’t help you. No money.

More like no vision. No creativity. No compassion.

Because the families of the victims of UTA Flight 772, a plane from Brazzaville, Congo that crashed en route to Paris in 1989, have built a massive memorial to their lost loved ones using little but the debris from the doomed flight and they did by using the only resources they had: love, determination, their own fundraising efforts, and the materials in front of them.

Viralnova first came across the story thanks to a random Google Maps. The author’s friend noticed an airplane icon in the middle of the Niger desert and was intrigued.

It turns out the crash site was so remote, when relatives went to visit, they found tons of debris that hadn’t been cleared.

Thanks to financial help from Les Familles de l’Attentat du DC-10 d’UTA, an association formed by the victims’ families and local residents, they put together a stunning memorial, by hand, using dark stones to create a 200-foot diameter circle.

Then they used shattered glass, 170 broken mirrors to symbolize each life lost aboard, around the circle. A wing from the plane “anchors” the monument.

Despite the remote location of the site, the project only took two months to complete in the spring and summer of 2007.

Now on Google Maps there is a visual icon to direct the world toward this stunning spectacle, the symbolic power of a community coming together to prove that harsh, remote geography and limited resources are no match for human willpower and compassion.

More amazing images and details from Viralnova’s original story here.


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Chiara O. Scuri

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