Cerritos Air Disaster Memorial
Updated December 23, 2009
Artwork selected for the Cerritos Sculpture Garden represents aspects of the Cerritos community. The first piece commissioned for the garden was the Cerritos Air Disaster Memorial. On August 31, 1986 two planes collided above Cerritos, resulting in a tragedy that claimed 82 lives, destroyed 11 homes and severely damaged seven other homes. The tragedy became known as the Cerritos Air Disaster and prompted the implementation of safer procedures for airport approaches and departures.
Artist Kathleen Caricof has sculpted three individual pieces to represent the three groups of people who perished in the Cerritos Air Disaster. Two pieces are free-form shapes in marble and granite that evoke wings, symbolizing flying, weightlessness and release. The abstract sculptures are complemented by a bench that offers visitors a place to rest and reflect. The people of Cerritos offer the memorial in memory of those who perished in the disaster, and to provide comfort and serenity to those who lost loved ones in the tragedy.