Paying Respects at the Flight 592 Memorial Near Miami, Fla.

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Mementos Left at the Flight 592 Memorial, Near Miami, Fla., Feb. 14, 2015

Mementos Left at the Flight 592 Memorial, Near Miami, Fla., Feb. 14, 2015

May 11, 1996, I was working and living in Everglades National Park when I heard the news about ValuJet Flight 592 crashing into the Everglades. The flight had departed Miami International Airport and was bound for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport when a fire in the cargo hold caused the plane to crash. All 110 on board perished.

110 Pillars, One for Each Passenger of Flight 592

110 Pillars, One for Each Passenger of Flight 592

Three years later, a memorial was dedicated about 12 miles west of Miami’s Krome Avenue on Tamiami Trail.  Standing tall on a cement platform shaped like a triangle and pointing in the direction of the plane crash site are 110 gray pillars representing one for each passenger.

Flight 592 Memorial, Everglades, East of Miami, Fla., Feb. 14, 2015

Flight 592 Memorial, Everglades, East of Miami, Fla., Feb. 14, 2015

For years, when I drove across the Tamiami Trail making my way between Miami and Naples and vice versa, I often looked for the memorial but it never caught my eye. It was only in recent years when I figured out where it was and visited.

Flight 592 Memorial, Everglades, East of Miami, Fla., Feb. 14, 2015

Flight 592 Memorial, Everglades, East of Miami, Fla., Feb. 14, 2015

I didn’t know anyone on the flight nor do I know anyone who knew anyone on it. I do know someone who was supposed to be on that flight, a coworker at the time, who had changed her travel plans by one day.

Flight 592 Memorial, Everglades, East of Miami, Fla., Feb. 14, 2015

Flight 592 Memorial, Everglades, East of Miami, Fla., Feb. 14, 2015

I suppose my interest in the site is because I travel. And, because I travel, I wholeheartedly know I assume risk. Yes, there are some precautions I can take to reduce that risk, such as NOT traveling to high-risk countries like Afghanistan (what the eff was I thinking???) but sometimes, things are unavoidable and I’ll just leave it with that.

Mementos Left at the Flight 592 Memorial

Mementos Left at the Flight 592 Memorial

On Valentine’s Day, following my swamp walk with Clyde Butcher’s Cypress Gallery and quick stop at Shark Valley, I paid my respects at the Flight 592 Memorial. It’s located well outside the national park boundaries and next to a canal lock. Located within sight of the road the setting is peaceful, however, I’m guessing it doesn’t welcome many visitors beyond those who lost loved ones.

Of course, I could be wrong. Mementos and offerings were sprinkled atop the memorial listing the names of those lost. Items included coins, candles, pens, notes written on small pieces of paper and a pair of cigarettes.

God bless those who perished and their loved ones left behind.

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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  1. Take A Drive On The Wild Side! U.S. 41 Road Trip Across The Florida Everglades | Solo Travel Girl - […] passengers and crew perished in the Everglades when their plane en route from Miami to Atlanta. The ValueJet 592…

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