February 21, 2009

8. Excited/Terrified

I have 2 more sleeps until the most stressful/terrifying/sleepless/exciting week of my life so far. One of my 6 courses this semester is graded on a pass/fail basis, it is 1 week long, and all of my other classes are canceled. We are asked to design a monument to the Air India Flight 182 bombing in 1985. You probably don't know much about the bombings, if anything at all (I definitely didn't), so here is a little background of the tragedy. You should read it, really.

"June 22, 1985. Airline agent Jeanne Bakermans checks in two pieces of luggage at Vancouver International Airport that will change the course of history.

Hours later, the first suitcase explodes inside the baggage terminal at Tokyo's Narita Airport while being transferred to an Air India flight. Two baggage handlers are killed. Exactly 55 minutes later, the other bag, a dark-brown hard-sided Samsonite suitcase, explodes in the forward cargo hold of Air India Flight 182 as it approaches the coast of Ireland.

Some passengers actually survive the 747's fall from 31,000 feet only to die in the frigid waters of the Atlantic.

The attack kills 329 people, including 82 children. Among the victims are 280 Canadian citizens, mostly born in India or of Indian descent.

Anant Anantaraman lost his wife and two daughters in the Air India tragedy. Both his little girls, he says, were very talented violinists. For years after the crash Anant found it impossible to listen to music. Each June he marks the anniversary of their death ... and each June he hopes the nation will remember this was not a foreign tragedy ... most of the victims were Canadians." - CBC

There are monuments currently in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Ahakista, Ireland. There is nothing to commemorate the tragedy on the east coast, so that's where we come in. The site is the waterfront of Bathurst, New Brunswick, which happens to be undergoing a multi-million dollar revival at the moment. The top 5 proposals (including mine, hopefully) will be sent out to NB and could potentially be built.

How's that for a portfolio?