In Memory of
Look at us Now
We got together
1981 in Review
Leuzinger High School Class of 1981 - A Tribute To Barbara Jean Arestegui - Class of 1980
From Cape Cod Times - September 14, 2001 Written by Meg Murphy A Yarmouthport memorial service honors slain co-workers, including a Marstons Mills resident. YARMOUTHPORT - A sea of people in crisp navy-blue uniforms gathered in front of a small chapel. The sharp scent of autumn leaves filled the air. A hot midday sun beat down. No one would take such sensations for granted again. A tightly knit group of flight attendants for United and American airlines organized a memorial at Kelly Chapel yesterday afternoon to mourn colleagues killed in terrorist attacks Tuesday. 'It could have been any one of us on that flight on Tuesday. It could have been any one of us here,' said Kevin Merritt, a flight attendant for American Airlines. Merritt lives in West Barnstable and works for the airline out of Logan International Airport. Dozens of airline employees who live on Cape Cod attended. Several flight attendants said they had left their homes for the first time since Tuesday's tragedy because they needed to be among colleagues and begin to heal. Many of the American Airlines employees wore gold wings on their blazer lapels. Almost everyone wept openly as they filed into wooden pews. They sat closely, shoulders touching; within moments nothing but standing room remained. At the front of the chapel, a photograph of a young couple was placed on a bouquet of summer flowers. All eyes seemed fixed on the photograph. Pictured were Amy R. King and Michael C. Tarrou, a Natick couple who were working as flight attendants on United Airlines Flight 175 when it left Boston for Los Angeles at 8:14 a.m. Tuesday. Hijackers crashed the plane into the South Tower of the World Trade Center about 45 minutes later. Many of the United Airlines employees at the service had known the couple well. Just as many American Airlines employees knew Barbara Arestegui, known to friends as Bobby, a Marstons Mills resident who was working on American Airlines Flight 11. Her flight left Logan at 7:59 a.m. for Los Angeles. It was crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:45 a.m. These were just three of the 33 names read aloud in tribute to the four crews who perished on Tuesday. Merritt reminded his colleagues to be careful with their loved ones. 'We don't know from one day to the next what could take place. As we put our faith in the captain, we just have to put our faith in God.,' he said. 'After something like this, it makes it ten-fold important we say we love each other.' But one flight attendant, who asked not to be identified, said she may never fly again. 'I can't even imagine getting on an airplane and looking at a passenger's face and not wondering if they are a terrorist. I can't imagine feeling safe on an airplane.' Remembering fallen friends An American Airlines attendant began to shake and sob as she began to read the names of people lost on Flights 11 and 77. Another attendant gently took the list from her and read: 'Captain John Ogonowski, Thomas McGuinness, Barbara Arestegui, Jeffrey Collman, Sara Low, Karen Martin, Kathleen Nicosia, Betty Ong, Jean Roger, Dianne Snyder, Madeline Sweeney. 'Captain Charles Burlingame, David Charlebois, Michele Heidenberger, Jennifer Lewis, Kenneth Lewis, Renee May.' A United Airlines attendant also struggled to steady her voice as she named the friends lost on Flight 175 and Flight 93. 'Captain Jason Dahl, Leroy Homer, Lorraine G. Bay, Sandra W. Bradshaw, Wanda A. Green, Ceecee Lyles, Deborah Welsh. 'Captain Victor Saracini, Michael Horrocks, Robert Fangman, Amy Jarett, Amy King, Kathryn Laborie, Alfred Marchand, Michael Tarrou, Alicia Titus.' Many people hugged each other or linked hands; their voices grew stronger as they prayed together. 'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,' they said, quoting Psalm 23. People stood to speak of their lost friends and how they had narrowly escaped death themselves. 'I should have been on that flight,' said Barbara McFarland, a West Yarmouth resident who worked on the same crew as King and Tarrou. She had swapped shifts with another attendant. Other flight attendants came over to hug McFarland and remind her not to take on blame for a senseless tragedy. She told stories about the great fun shared with King and Tarrou at jazz clubs and restaurants during stopovers in Chicago. 'We will never know what the future would have in store for them or the rest of our colleagues on United and American Airlines,' said Luiz Avelar, a United Airlines attendant who organized the ceremony with his wife, Michelle. Colleagues remembered Arestegui as a woman who brightened their days with a contagious laugh and lively personality. She was so small she could fit anywhere in the plane, they joked, even the carrier racks. 'Obviously our Heavenly Father wanted her beautiful smiling face with him. She will be greatly missed but never forgotten,' said one colleague. Maureen Mahoney, a United Airlines flight attendant who lives in Dennis, remembered Arestegui from shared layovers in the late 1970s. She said the flight attendants who live on the Cape are a close group. 'I knew one of these girls. I knew the Newark girls,' said Mahoney, referring to the crew who died when Flight 93 from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco crashed outside Pittsburgh on Tuesday. 'We are here to pay tribute to our friends who were murdered,' said Avelar. Donna Hanlon, a United Airlines flight attendant who lives in East Sandwich, said people grow close in this business. 'I came out to be with all the people that I know,' she said. 'It is just important to have the support of your friends.' Hanlon said she is determined to continue flying. 'We won't stop. The air transportation has to go on. It is like driving to work. You don't think about having an accident on the way. This is our job.'
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