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Lucille Dawson & Lillian Fitzpatrick



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Lucille Dawson & Lillian Fitzpatrick

Two good friends named Lucille Dawson and Lillian Fitzpatrick left their exceptionally quiet, tree-lined street in Warwick, RI nineteen years ago. Lillian’s sister-in-law Olive Fitzpatrick drove them the short distance to T.F. Green Airport. 

Three flights and many hours intervened until the explosion alongside the plane that they thought was taking them closer and closer to Korea. One’s thoughts often go to how they must have felt at that moment; how the two friends comforted each other while faced with such an unexpected, terrifying event.

Lucille, 57, had moved into her friend’s ranch house in 1974. The two traveled quite a bit. “Japan was the last big place Aunt Lil wanted to go,” according to niece Linda Ann Murray, speaking to the Boston Globe on September 2. “She said her aunt had been to Egypt, Ireland, Germany and other European countries.” Murray’s aunt, 60, shared Dawson’s occupation of manufacturing, and had just retired from her job as a Controller at the nearby General Electric plant. Dawson was employed at a factory in Attleboro, Massachusetts, not far away. The two were planning to spend 12 days exploring Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan, and “…had planned the trip for months” according to Murray in the September 2 Washington Post.

Driving by T.F. Green Airport at night nowadays is eerie knowing they haven’t been able to come back. You still see the green, white, and red runway lights and the planes landing. You look up and think about those invisible paths in the sky passengers take—flight paths filled with the hopes and joys and energy and the plans of a lot of good people like Lillian and Lucille. You wonder how they are.

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Last modified: March 10, 2009

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