SIOUX CITY | When United Airlines Flight 232 crashed in Sioux City 25 years ago, it left a deep impact on Siouxland and those who survived.
Along the city's riverfront is a monument that recalls the heroism and the care given by the hundreds of people who turned out to help on that fateful day.
The Flight 232 memorial pays tribute to all those who survived and those who responded. It was unveiled nearly five years after the July 19, 1989, crash, and was the result of several proposals that aimed to catch the community spirit.
Dale Lamphere, a South Dakota artist, was commissioned to create the statue that became the centerpiece of the memorial. He created "The Spirit of Siouxland," a statue based on a photo taken by former Journal photographer Gary Anderson showing Col. Dennis Nielsen of what was then known as Sioux City's 185th Fighter Wing, Iowa Air National Guard, carrying 3-year-old Spencer Bailey from the scene. In the sculpture, Nielsen's hands are depicted larger than life to symbolize the aid rendered by all of those involved.
The statue faces the Missouri River, where all three Siouxland states involved in rescue efforts can be seen. On a sidewalk leading to the sculpture are large stones, each containing a plaque engraved with quotes from people involved in that day. Trees line the sidewalk, creating a canopy to embrace the visitor just as Siouxland embraced the victims' families after the crash.
The outdoor setting was designed as an outdoor cathedral, said David Ciaccio, the Omaha architect who designed the setting, just west of the Anderson Dance Pavilion in Chris Larsen Park.