On June 3 The Woodruff Arts Center honored the 50th anniversary of the loss of 106 Atlantans in the 1962 plane crash at Paris’ Orly Airport. A painful part of the city’s history, the plane’s passengers included prominent citizens and business leaders, who were on their way home from an arts trip to Europe. The Woodruff Arts Center was built in their memory.
To commemorate the lives lost that day, Alliance artist-in-dialogue Pear Cleage was commissioned to write a poem for the 50th anniversary of the tragedy. She read her poem, “Wish You Were Here,” to the crowd gathered at the ceremony.
“It was an honor to be asked to write a piece that expressed not only the tragedy that was the Orly plane crash, but allowed us to see the people who were killed as specific human beings who left behind families and friends who loved them,” Cleage stated.
“Their understanding of how important arts and culture are to the creation of a world-class city provided the energy that carried their dream forward in spite of their untimely deaths. The Woodruff Arts Center stands as a testament not only to the power of a dream, but the power of the dreamers.”