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Stolen memorial plaque to victims of 1985 Galaxy Airlines crash to be replaced


washoe-300x294-8507943-6443978WASHOE COUNTY REGIONAL PARKS NEWS RELEASE – Washoe County Regional Parks announced they will soon replace the memorial plaque dedicated to the victims of the 1985 Galaxy Airlines crash that was stolen from Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in November.

“Tuesday, January 21 marks the 29th anniversary of the crash, and we are in the process of replacing the plaque and are looking at alternatives to keep this from happening again,” said Washoe County Park Operations Superintendent Eric Crump. “One of the options is an engraved boulder, and we hope to have the replacement complete in the next 30-60 days.”

The plaque was stolen from the Galaxy Memorial Grove in the Wilbur D. May Arboretum at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park at the beginning of November along with several other bronze plaques in the park. The 2-foot-by-2-foot plaque was bolted and sealed onto a large rock on the east side of the park near Sierra Street.

Along with several community donors, the Reno Gazette-Journal and the Reno-Tahoe International Airport have both come forward with an interest in supporting the replacement.

“This was an important piece of history for our community and for those who are forever linked to the Galaxy tragedy,” said RGJ Executive Editor Kelly Scott. “I’m pleased the community could come together to make sure its history will be remembered for generations to come.”

“While the theft of the plaque is a sad story, the coming together of our community to replace it shows the true heart and spirit of Northern Nevadans,” said Brian Kulpin, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Reno-Tahoe International Airport. “The Galaxy crash was a tragic aviation incident that impacted our entire community and the Reno-Tahoe International Airport is honored to help support the replacement memorial.”

The plaque was dedicated to the victims of the disaster that claimed the lives of 70 passengers and crew members when Galaxy Flight 203 went down Jan. 21, 1985 and exploded shortly after takeoff from Reno-Cannon International Airport, since renamed Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Seventy-one trees were planted for the 70 travelers who died and for the one survivor, George Lamson, Jr., who was 17 at the time. Lamson currently resides in Reno.

“Several people from the community have also contacted us to see how they can help,” added Crump. “Although funding for the replacement of the plaque has been secured, people who wish to offer support can donate to the Arboretum for maintenance and possible improvements to the Galaxy Memorial Grove. We are so grateful for the support of the people of Washoe County.”

For information on how to donate to the Arboretum and improvements at the Galaxy Memorial Grove, contact Eric Crump at [email protected] or at 775-328-2182.

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