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A couple years ago, I wrote about a Northwest airlines 727 that came down in the Harriman woods one winter’s night in 1974.  On it were three men.  They were on their way to Buffalo, New York, to pick up the Baltimore Colts football team after a game on December 1.  All three lost their lives that night.

I was surprised by some of the comments left on that post.  Among them were memories of that night by people who were part of the rescue, by kids just getting ready for bed in nearby towns, and then by family members themselves.  1972 is so distant to me, but the feelings others expressed around this event seemed brand new.

The post caught the attention of Gary Scarano and Robert Wren, Jr., and with Scott Salotto, they determined to mark the spot with a permanent memorial.  For more than six months, they have been working on this memorial, and the ceremony that will be held tomorrow.  I can only imagine that it will be a solemn and spiritual experience for the family members and those who stand there with them.

This Saturday — tomorrow morning, November 7 — family members of the plane’s pilot and crew will gather in the woods near the Long Path, where it leaves the Old Turnpike, in Harriman, to mark the placement of a memorial at the spot where the plane came down.

In the words of pilot’s son: “My heart is gratified that people see it not as a curiosity or treasure hunt, but remember it as a place where three men lost their lives (and all their families lost fathers, sons, brothers, friends.”

You’re invited to the placing of a memorial for the three men who lost their lives in the Harriman woods on December 1, 1974.  The ceremony will be at 11 am at 119 St. John’s Road, Stony Point, and is open to the public.

Captain John Lagorio (far left) of Edina, Minnesota, with his family in happy times. Photo courtesy of the Lagorio family.  The ceremony and plaque were made possible by the Historical Society of the Palisades Interstate Park Region, the Historical Society of Rockland County, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, the Rockland Road Runners and the County of Rockland.

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