The Swissair Memorial Site - Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, is located on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean at the entrance to St. Margaret's Bay,
one kilometre (0.6 miles) north of Peggy's Cove,
and eight kilometres (five miles) from the watery crash site. This Swissair Memorial Site is not just a monument in memory of the people who lost their lives on Swissair Flight 111,
it also shows gratitude to those individuals who risked their lives and worked tirelessly in search and recovery operations, and comforted grieving family and friends in their time of distress.
Swissair Flight 111 (ICAO: SWR111) was a scheduled international passenger flight from New York City, United States, to Geneva, Switzerland. On the evening of September 2, 1998, the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 performing this flight crashed into the Atlantic Ocean southwest of Halifax International Airport at the entrance to St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia. The crash site was 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from shore, roughly equidistant from the tiny fishing and tourist communities of Peggys Cove and Bayswater. All 229 passengers and crew aboard the MD-11 died—the highest death toll of any McDonnell Douglas MD-11 accident in aviation history, and the second-highest of any air disaster to occur in Canada (after Arrow Air Flight 1285, which crashed in 1985 with 256 fatalities).
Living in Canada at the time, I remember watching the late night news on September 2, 1998. I will never forget the scenes of panic, distress and tragedy which occurred that evening. Below are a couple of links to news footage of the Swissair 111 crash from September 2, 1998:
The search and rescue response, crash recovery operation, and investigation by the Government of Canada took over four years and cost CAD 57 million (at that time approximately US$38 million). The Transportation Safety Board of Canada's (TSB) report of their investigation stated that flammable material used in the aircraft's structure allowed a fire (possibly caused by arcing in wiring of the in-flight entertainment system network) to spread beyond the control of the crew, resulting in a loss of control and the crash of the aircraft.
It should be noted that there are two other memorials dedicated to the Swissair 111 disaster, one being a much larger commemoration located west of the crash site near Bayswater Beach Provincial Park on the Aspotogan Peninsula in Bayswater. Here, the unidentified remains of the victims are interred. The other, albeit not publicly accessible, was created inside the Operations Center at Zurich Airport where a simple plaque on the ground floor in the centre opening of a spiral staircase pays tribute to the victims.