Mourning, ritual and recovery after an airline tragedy

Pearl Katz, Paul Bartone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The crash of a chartered Army jetliner in Gander, Newfoundland in 1985 resulted in the deaths of 248 soldiers from one battalion stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. This article describes the multiple mourning rituals enacted by the geographically localized family members, other battalion members, and other soldiers at the base and examines the functions of these rituals in contributing to group and individual recovery. Such rituals encouraged the participants to confront their losses, separate the past from the present and future and, thereby, promoted individual and group autonomy. Autonomy was demonstrated by individually and collectively working-through their losses, reintegrating into the community, reaffirming community solidarity, and strengthening community ties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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