A Time for Reflection, honoring the 18 lives lost from Flight 5791
On Sunday, December 3rd, the community of Hibbing held a time for reflection the Range Regional Airport. It’s been 30 years since that fateful night when a plane crashed in Hibbing where 18 people lost their lives. Community members came together to keep the memories of the victims alive in their hearts and connecting with one another.
Steve Breitbarth, a chaplain with St. Louis County Law Enforcement’s Chaplaincy, recounted the call that night on December 1st 1993.
“No one knew officially, one family and all that people were aware of was the fact the plane was missing,” Breitbarth said. “It was right around midnight that they had found the crash site and brought the news to family and friends.”
Breitbarth said a time for reflection is needed for the people in Hibbing. The friends and family members of the victims still grief their loss.
“I think the important thing for them would be to not to keep it to themselves, but to share with a close trusted friend,” Breitbarth said. “A close trusted friend or someone who will listen to them, not hear their words, but listen.”
John Petrich, another chaplain with St. Louis County, said , during a time of grief don’t be afraid to reach out. There’s people in the community who can help in a time of mourning.
“I firmly, firmly believe that we live with stories, our personal story, our personal history,” Petrich said. “The stories of our relationships and the people around us, are keeping them alive. The stories from the people that have died, are kept alive with the stories of who we are, what we do and how we do it becomes very, very important.”
The community of Hibbing experienced a multitude of emotions reflecting with each other. After 30 years the scars may have healed, there is still pain others feel in their time of grief for their loved ones.
“They’re not alone. There’s a community around them, communities of faith, communities of good support, communities that listen. And we all belong to these small, different communities,” Petrich said. “They all become integral parts to the whole community. And that’s what we’re about. The whole community experiences what the one person experience, and we make it better.”