2014 has so far been a very dark time for aviation. On Thursday July 24th 2014, cabin crew around the world wore a black ribbon on their uniforms, in memory of the colleagues we have so tragically lost over these last few months. Flight MH370 disappeared without a trace on March 8, 2014. Months later there is still no explanation as to what exactly happened to the Boeing 777, its passengers or crew. Then Malaysia Airlines suffered a further tragedy when MH17 was shot down over Ukraine on July, 17. Just a few days later on July, 23 TransAsia Airways flight GE222 crashed on approach into Magong Airport, Penghu Island, Taiwan. Then on the very day crew around the world offered to mark their respects, a further tragedy fell upon our industry with the loss of Swiftair flight AH5017 (operating on behalf of Air Algerie). The McDonnell Douglas MD-83 crashed en-route to Algiers in bad weather.
In the space of four months we have lost twenty-seven cabin crew and ten of our pilot brothers and sisters. These disasters have hit our industry hard, especially those at Malaysia Airlines who have lost so many of their friends and colleagues in such a short period. In a time where aviation safety has come on in leaps and bounds, it is loss for one airline not seen since the 9/11 atrocities.
Since these accidents, I have received many emails and messages from crew around the world asking for ways in which we may be able to pay tribute to the crew members we have lost, not only this year but in all aviation accidents, on a more permanent basis. One idea is that we have an annual ‘memorial’ day, where cabin crew around the globe wear our black ribbons, commemorating all of our ‘Angels Of The Sky’.
A date that has been mentioned is our flight attendants, Patron Saints day. Yes believe it or not, cabin crew do have their very own Patron Saint, St. Bona Of Pisa which is celebrated on 29th May each year. If you would like some more information on her, have a quick read of my blog post, detailing her life story. Many of you have said that you feel this would be a perfect day for us to remember those we have lost.
St. Bona Of Pisa Patron Saint of Flight Attendants.
My intention now, if we gather enough support, is to contact the CEO’s of the major airlines around the world. I will be sending an email requesting that for one day each year, they relax their uniform policies slightly and allow us to wear our black ribbon.
Some of you have also spoken about creating a charity to support those left behind. This is an idea I would also like to develop and would be interested in hearing ideas you may have for this. Any suggestions can either be left in the comments section below, or simply drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
I really do think it would be fitting if we could drum up enough support to make this a world-wide event every year, celebrating the lives of all cabin crew and pilots who went to work one day and never returned.
I ask you all if possible to share this post with all of your aviation colleagues and friends to make our ‘Angels Of The Sky Memorial Day’ a success.
Thank you in advance.
“Flight attendants don’t just die, they fly higher” -Anon.
©Dan Air for confessionsofatrolleydolly.com 2014.