Michelle Brennen lost her father in the crash of flight 723 when she was 10 years old. In 2021, she found a passenger manifest and began, name by name, to track down the survivors.
A Vermont woman spent years tracking down men and women who lost their parents in the same plane crash in 1973. Michelle Brennen lost her father in the crash of Flight 723 when she was 10 years old, on a summer vacation. In 2021, she discovered a passenger manifest and began, name by name, to track down the survivors.
In 1973, when adults didn't talk about death, it was a time when people didn't talk about it. A neighbor took the kids to the beach yesterday so they wouldn't see news coverage of the crash, which was among the deadliest in New England's history. The following week, when their father was buried, they were not allowed to attend the funeral. A guidance counselor called her in when school started and asked her how she was doing. Michelle added that all these years later, something kept Michelle's mind away from the plane crash. In the basement of her mother's home after she died in 2021, Michelle found a cardboard box where her mother had stored everything related to the flight, Delta 723 - newspaper clippings, correspondence with lawyers, journal entries. Michelle found that she could not stop reading until she started reading more books. She was especially drawn by the dog-eared passenger manifest, 89 names on a battered sheet of paper. How many children did they have left behind? On the day of her father's funeral, Michelle watched the adults leave in their church clothes. She had shouted at her mother - she thought she was old enough to go - but now the fight had drained out of her, and she sat on a cement floor in an unfinished part of the house, behind a piece of lumber, where they couldn't see her cry. To comfort her, an aunt promised to bring her a gift: a bottle of Shower to Shower baby powder. But nothing could comfort her. She came to understand her role in the family's death. She added that she didn't make any waves. Her mother was constantly trying to get us to go outside and play - go outside and play. In all that silence, she snagged terrible thoughts in her mind. She had an argument with her father the night before, and, in my 10-year-old, very stubborn and bossy way, muttered to herself: This ate at her, this unforgivable thing, but she never told. If she had a baby, who would she tell? So, somehow, it transpired that she didn't quite take in her father's death. Years later, she still thought she spotted him in crowds. She would look for him in Barre, Vt., where he had grown up. Her sister Denise, who was 8 when her father died, felt the same way.