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By: Melody Smith, Kim Jockl, and Jim Borchers

This book tells the incredible journey of three siblings over the last 40+ years grieving their parents' sudden loss, coming together as a family, and working hard to honor the lives of all 273 lost on Flight 191. It's an inspirational Chicago story about love, family, and how tragedy gets a big word, but it never gets the final word.

Read Part of Chapter 1

As the stewardess made final take-off announcements, I looked to my right and left. Every time I’ve flown since that fateful day, I have the same ritual; I count the seconds as the plane increases speed down the runway.






Thirty-one seconds. This was the amount of time the DC-10 airplane was in the air before losing its left engine and crashing in a field north of the runway. The crash’s impact was so intense there was little left of those on the flight, and debris was scattered everywhere. All 271 passengers and crew on board and two individuals on the ground lost their lives.

A DC-10 was broken apart, lives were lost, and all the lives of families and friends would be forever altered after the crash of American Airlines Flight 191. It is still the worst non-terrorist-related crash in American history.


Yet there we were, 25 years later, clicking our seat belts on an American Airlines flight. Along with our families, my sister and I were off to witness our brother Jim’s wedding in Hawaii. This was the same destination our parents (known as “Nudy” and Bill) left for on May 25th, 1979.

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By: Kori Rumore Finley

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