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           June 30, 2023 Memorial Service

This year's 67th commemorative service was held at Grand Canyon Village's Pioneer Cemetery and at Flagstaff Citizens' Cemetery, hosted by Tom Sulpizio with honorary guests. One of them was Simeon Niederer, a relative through marriage to Anton Spinas. Anton was one of the 1956 Swiss alpinists who was part of the recovery of victims at Chuar Butte, where United Flight 718 crashed. Mr. Niederer flew from Switzerland to Arizona. He honored the United victims by placing the floral arrangement at the base of the headstone. He is the first international guest we have had at a memorial service, and he is the first member related to one of the Swiss rescue team of 1956.  Our other distinguished guest was Superintendent Ed Keable. We were honored that he was able to make the time to attend this service, which means so very much to all of us. Mr. Keable was impressed by the "energy" that was present in the air during the service. That energy was something very powerful and not something that is often present at many events. I believe that the energy he was experiencing was the caring all of us put into remembering and honoring those lost victims.There was an added sweet sentiment and natural energy present from a few species of birds, perched in the branches of the beautiful Ponderosa Pines that stand tall in the cemetery, as well as throughout Grand Canyon Village. The birds added their own chirping comments at the ceremony, which to me is very touching. Mike and I were connected via cellphone, and I could hear the sweet songs and chirping from the birds, their own eulogy.                                                                         Barbara Nelson

  GC Village Pioneer Cemetery    Honoring the United 718 victims

Flagstaff Citizens' Cemetery   Honoring the TWA Flight 2 victims

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