I Can See For Miles

I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles

I Can See For Miles (Pete Townshend), The Who, 1967


UTA Flight 772. On Tuesday 19th September 1989, flying from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, having landed and then taken off from N’Djamena in Chad en route Paris CDG, the plane blew up in an explosion while cruising at 10,700m. A suitcase bomb planted by Libyan terrorists. All passengers and crew died. 170 human beings perished in midair. The wreckage was littered all over the desert below. There but for the grace of God.

Most of us find it hard to remember the crash. Most of us haven’t heard of UTA. Many of us wouldn’t know precisely where Brazzaville was. For that matter, few amongst us would know how to spell N’Djamena. And the Sahara isn’t the world’s most populous place. Not that many witnesses or passers-by.

170 souls. All but forgotten.


Except for the families of the victims. They remembered. They will never forget.

And so they built a memorial to the victims, a memorial that deserves to be seen. Go see it now.

The victims deserve it. The families of the victims deserve it. Every victim of terrorism deserves it. Every family of victims of terrorism deserves it.This memorial is a fitting response to acts of cowardice, powerful yet humane, creative yet stark.
My thanks to those who envisioned it, who built it, and who chose to share it with the rest of us.




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