Hundreds attend memorial service for Flight 255 victims - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Hundreds attend memorial service for Flight 255 victims

Posted: Updated:
ROMULUS, Mich. (WJBK) -

It was one of the darkest days in metro Detroit.  It's been 25 years since the crash of Northwest Flight 255.  Thursday, families gathered at the crash site to remember those who died.

The big jet crashed just seconds after taking off from Detroit Metro Airport.  154 people aboard and two on the ground were killed for a total of 156 victims.

There was only one survivor, four-year-old Cecelia Cichan.  Her picture is on a backboard firefighters used to rescue her and rush her to the hospital.  She was traveling with her parents.  Her mother, father and older brother were all killed in the accident.

Father Jim Wieging was the priest who served as the chaplain for the Detroit Police Department at the time of the crash.  He led the service.  He has officiated every service.

Wieging said the families needed to be there and they need each other.

"This is the group they can find people who understand.  They don't have to try to explain it.  They know where they're coming from, and they don't have to say let me try to inform you.  They know."

Wieging read all the names of the 156 victims beginning at 8:46 p.m., the time of the crash.  Approximately 300 family members, friends and first responders were there with prayers, candles and curiosity.

"That what ifs.  What would they be like.  I think another question that comes up is what are all 156 of these individuals doing?  All they all together?  Probably living it up.  Probably looking down and having a great big grin on their face.  I think it would make them happy to know that we're trying to do them proud," said Tony Zanger, who lost his brother.

23-year-old Army Second Lieutenant Christine Hoffman was returning to her army job after a visit with her family in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Her father said he had to be attend this service.

"Recognize and pay our respects to our daughter and to all the other victims of the crash of 255 and say a little prayer."

One of the victim's family members told us they had to be there and will come back because they don't have a cemetery to go to grieve.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Wide-reaching Nut Butter Recall

    Wide-reaching Nut Butter Recall

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:51 AM EDT2014-08-20 09:51:24 GMT
    Peanut and almond butters sold at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and other grocers are being recalled because of possible salmonella contamination. A unit of Hain Celestial Group Inc. says there have been reports of four illnesses that may be related to the nut butters. They were sold under the brand names Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butters, MaraNatha Almond Butters and Peanut Butters, and private label brands for Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Kroger and Safeway.
    Peanut and almond butters sold at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and other grocers are being recalled because of possible salmonella contamination. A unit of Hain Celestial Group Inc. says there have been reports of four illnesses that may be related to the nut butters. They were sold under the brand names Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butters, MaraNatha Almond Butters and Peanut Butters, and private label brands for Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Kroger and Safeway.
  • Livonia woman carjacked by young boy at knifepoint

    Livonia woman carjacked by young boy at knifepoint

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:32 PM EDT2014-08-20 03:32:33 GMT
    School is just around the corner and rather than brushing up on some history, one child made some of his own.
    School is just around the corner and rather than brushing up on some history, one child made some of his own.
  • Detroit residents say new LED street lights not bright enough

    Detroit residents say new LED street lights not bright enough

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:57 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:57:42 GMT
    Although Detroit residents are grateful for new streetlights, but they are concerned with the lack of coverage the new bulbs provide.
    Although Detroit residents are grateful for new streetlights, but they are concerned with the lack of coverage the new bulbs provide.
  • Ron SavageRon SavageMore>>

  • Dream cruise gets rolling early Friday

    Dream cruise gets rolling early Friday

    Saturday, August 16 2014 12:01 AM EDT2014-08-16 04:01:59 GMT
    Cruisers came out in droves showcasing elegant oldies and American muscle. Fox 2's Ron Savage got an early look at the Dream Cruise and checked out some of the cars - and some of the drivers.
    Cruisers came out in droves showcasing elegant oldies and American muscle. Fox 2's Ron Savage got an early look at the Dream Cruise and checked out some of the cars - and some of the drivers.
  • Teen escapes as basement wall collapses during Monday rain

    Teen escapes as basement wall collapses during Monday rain

    Friday, August 15 2014 1:45 AM EDT2014-08-15 05:45:31 GMT
    A 16-year-old teen boy escaped unharmed after a basement wall collapsed Monday night in Warren .
    A 16-year-old teen boy escaped unharmed after a basement wall collapsed Monday night in Warren .
  • Some metro Detroit areas still swamped by flooding

    Some metro Detroit areas still swamped by flooding

    Wednesday, August 13 2014 10:57 PM EDT2014-08-14 02:57:59 GMT
    Although flooding has been cleared around most of metro Detroit, vehicles are still stuck in Allen Park where it's high tide on Outer Drive.
    Although flooding has been cleared around most of metro Detroit, vehicles are still stuck in Allen Park where it's high tide on Outer Drive.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices