Families of Flight 3407 victims remember loved ones on ten-year anniversary of tragedy

Memorial in Clarence Center to be re-dedicated Tuesday

Mike Baggerman
February 12, 2019 - 3:00 am

Names of 50 victims of Flight 3407 tragedy on memorial at Forest Lawn. February 11, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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CLARENCE CENTER, N.Y. (WBEN) - Tuesday marks ten years since the Flight 3407 tragedy in Clarence Center.

The commercial plane, which was en route from New Jersey to Buffalo, crashed into a home at 6038 Long Street in Clarence Center, killing 50 people. 

This tragedy left a heartbreaking impact on the families involved, who suddenly lost a loved one unexpectedly. 

PHOTOS:  Flight 3407:  Ten Years Later

WBEN In-Studio EXTRA - "One on the Ground" - Karen Wielinski talks about surviving 3407 and losing her husband Doug

"It's amazing that it's been ten years," Chris Kausner, who lost his sister, Elly, in the crash. "And it's true that as time goes on you...I don't want to say things get better but you find a different kind of normal. You settle in to the way life is now. You're so used to it that the pain, day-to-day, isn't as acute as it was ten years ago. But our family, and along with the other 3407 families, have really drawn together."

Kausner said the tragedy has brought his family closer together than it's ever been.

Everybody goes through the death of a loved one and people process death in different ways. Kausner noted how their situation was incredibly unique due to the coverage on cable but he noted everyone experienced the moment at the same time.

"That has really allowed us to connect with all these other families who have something in common," he said. "It's definitely been a part of our healing process."

READ MORE: FLIGHT 3407 FAMILIES REMEMBER LOVED ONES AT FOREST LAWN ON EVE OF TRAGEDY

Kausner, who lives in Clarence, frequents the site of the crash as a way to reflect on Elly's memory.

"She was confident and fun and she seized life," Kausner reflected. "She was also very thoughtful and tried to serve the people around her. She wanted to make life better for the people around her."

Like Kausner, Grail Cammarata lost her sister. Julie Ries was one of the 49 passengers onboard the plane.

"She was a very caring person and she cared for the elderly," Cammarata said while holding back tears. "She was just an amazing personality and just...she left a legacy of three children that have beautiful children now. They're just amazing kids. They're my nieces and nephews and they're just wonderful."

Cammarata also visits the site often. She visits any time that she's in town and when it's her sister's birthday.

"We just lost my mother," she said. "(She was) 95 years old. She went to the crash site a couple of times as well. It's just a moment of reflection....to say hello."

The memorial in Clarence Center will be re-dedicated on Tuesday afternoon. 

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