101st Airborne to hold ceremony at Gander Memorial
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (WTVQ) – The 35th Anniversary Gander Memorial remembrance ceremony will be held Dec. 12 at the new memorial site at Fort Campbell.
The new site was dedicated in 2019. The ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
The memorial consists of two monuments and 256 Canadian sugar maple trees. It was built to honor the memory of the 248 Soldiers and eight crew members who lost their lives when Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashed in Gander, Newfoundland, shortly after takeoff on the morning of Dec. 12, 1985.
The Soldiers, primarily assigned to 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, were returning from a six-month peacekeeping mission in the Sinai Peninsula.
The original memorial was conceived by Mrs. Janice Johnston Nikkel, a then-15-year-old Canadian citizen. Nikkel pledged money she earned from babysitting to the creation of the original tree park, inspiring others to contribute.
This year, due to COVID safety concerns, the event is by invitation only and will not be open to the public. Fort Campbell asks that anyone present adhere to COVID safety measures established by the CDC, including wearing of a mask.
Anyone not in attendance is welcome to watch the event, which will stream live on the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/101st