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16/10/2019
Concert in memory of the 118 victims of the Linate accident

Here is the speech by the President of the Committee October 8th at the Concert at the Verdi Music Conservatory in Milan.

 

Good evening, everyone. Thank you for being here for this commemoration.

 

I want to thank Mayor Giuseppe Sala, the city administration, the Conservatory Director Cristina Frosini, and SEA, who have allowed us to gather once again at the end of this commemorative day.

Even our dear Pasquale Padovano is here with us, as a testament to the pain of those days.

 

As usual, we are concluding the evening accompanied by music, which is always a balm for our wounded hearts.

 

This is the part of the day when music channels our thoughts towards our loved ones. The melodies we listen to are timeless, just as their memory is eternal: the venue has changed, but the thought, memory and love that binds us to them has not.

 

Year after year we see our faces change and our young people grow up.

 

But we are always here not only to remember, but to remind ourselves of what we did for our 118 loved ones during the year.

 

The commitment we made many years ago — so there would never be another tragedy like ours on October 8 — continues.

 

Every year I like to read a thought that in some way symbolically represents us. This time, it is by Baricco:

“Because despair was an extreme that was foreign to him, he took stock of what was left of his life and began to take care of it again, with the unshakable tenacity of a gardener at work on the morning after a storm.”

 

And so here we are. We worked with the usual tenacity on many projects this year as well; we brought our voice and ideas to round table discussions, meetings, conferences, international and national forums, universities, major airports, and many other locations.

 

We family members are often asked for an active and direct testimony before audiences that are always attentive and moved. The direct testimony of family members who are still very involved, active and interested is the magical glue that allows miracles to be performed.

 

This sincere contribution of experiences is given to promote change and offered by non-experts: families that unfortunately know what it means to endure the failure of a system and that humbly but strongly feel the need (and burden) to contribute to improving safety by making themselves available to the "technicians”. Our participation as part of the Italian delegation at the last General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization, which recently concluded in Montreal, sought to carefully focus on the emotional aspects of assistance, because only people who have suffered such great pain can understand what others would need if they unfortunately found themselves in the same predicament.

 

I am extremely proud to be able to announce that, in the coming weeks, this synergy will be further strengthened with the signing of a document of intent between ENAC, the Committee and the Foundation, aimed at further consolidating our friendship and cooperation.

 

I would also like to share with you some particularly significant moments.

 

The "Impossible Target" event, a 285 km marathon lasting 48 consecutive hours which saw the participation of Anja Thomsen, the daughter of two Danish victims, who raced with the Committee shirt and bib number 118 in commemoration.

Many followed the event, which was also given ample space by the media.

It was a special memorial made even more significant by the fact that Anja reached the finish line at 8:10 a.m. on a Monday morning. Is that a coincidence? At 8:10 a.m., like on that foggy tragic Monday morning.

 

This year the Paolo Pettinaroli Prize was awarded with great enthusiasm and unanimity to our dear Evi Volpato, who we love and who was given this award for her precious support and contribution.

 

In the coming months the filming of the documentary will begin and should be presented for our twentieth anniversary. We invite you to visit our website, where you will find a dedicated space with important documentation representing our "memory”.

 

As evidence of our sensitivity and attention to young people, two scholarships will soon be awarded to deserving recent graduates, Dr. Luca Bertoni and Dr. Maria Sanna, as part of the competition announced by the City of Milan in commemoration of the victims of Linate, which will continue with the project aimed at introducing the most elementary concepts of safety to young students in our schools.

 

They say that starting a revolution is easy: it is much more difficult to continue it.

We do not know the meaning of the word "difficult". We will continue with our heads held high, never stopping, for as long as we have the strength to do it.

United. Together. Because we have a mission. And we must honor it!

 

And so we continue.

 

And now, at the end of a tiring but important day, let's get ready to listen to soothing musical notes in this prestigious theater, another symbol of Milan, which welcomes us with kindness and affection.

Enjoy the music.

Thank you all.