Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Sad Memorial at the Birmingham Airport

I've written several posts on this blog that might be classified under a "history in unexpected places" category---things like markers or plaques in very public places that most people pass by without noticing. One such post discussed the Hillman Hospital Annex cornerstone and another a plaque inside UAB's Jefferson Tower. I've also written one about a memorial plaque for Dr. Bernie Moore, an important figure in the founding of Crestwood Hospital in Huntsville.

I remember another such encounter vividly that took place a few years ago on our trip to Boston to visit son Amos. We stayed at a b&b in Cambridge, not far from his apartment, and each day he would meet us, and we walked several blocks to the nearest subway stop to begin our adventures. On our final day I noticed we had been walking right by a marker commemorating Watson's Corner, the site of an April 19, 1775, skirmish connected with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Who knows how many people walk past the marker and never see it, much less stop and read it. The Boston area is crowded with history, even along the sidewalks.

In the Birmingham airport recently I noticed just such an item on the ticketing and departure level---the plaque below, which is located on one end of that floor. This memorial acknowledges the death at that spot of Luke Bresette. The ten year-old, his two siblings and parents were passing through Birmingham on their way home to Kansas on March 22, 2013. After an extensive renovation the terminal had reopened only nine days earlier. The family happened to be in front of a free-standing arrival and departure board when the structure fell over. The father was uninjured, but Heather Bresette and her children were pinned under the sign that weighed several hundred pounds. 

The mother was taken to UAB Hospital and the youngsters to Children's. All survived except Luke, who died later that day. You can read about the incident in more detail and its aftermath here and here. You can see a photo of the cabinet that fell over taken the day the terminal reopened on the BhamWiki site. The plaque below is located on that portion of the wall behind it. 

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