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Remembering means everything

Dear editor, This letter is to express my appreciation and love shown by the Freemasons of Newfoundland and Labrador for the memorial site built to commemorate the deaths of 256 soldiers of the 101st Airborne and crew of the Arrow Air crash on Dec. 12, 1985.

My son, Michael Shayne Stack, was aboard that plane. I made my first visit to Gander in October of 2010 at the invitation of Gary and Rose Collins of Hare Bay. Gary and I had corresponded for over a year about the crash, my son and others aboard. His book, Where Eagles Lie Fallen, was published in 2010 after I returned home to Texas.

During my week-long visit I not only went to the site daily, but met a number of the citizens of Gander and Canadians from across the provinces who came to visit the site. The Collins’ hosted me for a Newfie party one evening in their home and I met a number of their friends and had my first Jigg’s Dinner. I learned a bit about Newfoundland by visiting Boyd’s Cove, talking with Jean at her bed and breakfast in Gander, friends of the Collins’ who worked at the Gander airport at the time of the crash, and visiting

St. John’s and meeting with the publishers of Gary Collins’ book, Flanker Press.

Returning home, after all of the above, and 25 years after the crash, I felt more at peace than I had felt in 25 years. A plaque at the memorial site reads, “At the going down of the sun and in the dawning, we will remember them.”

To know that our soldiers and the Arrow Air Crew, and, to me, my son, Michael Shayne Stack, are all remembered by the wonderful people of Newfoundland and Labrador means everything to me.

With a very special thanks to the town of Gander, and the Collins family.

Lots of love from Texas.

Robyn Gayle Stack

Mother of Michael Shayne Stack (1961-1985)

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