familyassociation

Family Association

After an airline tragedy, the airline usually brings relatives together to a hotel near the occurrence. In the United States, I have seen hotels shut down exclusively for the use of families of victims. Psychiatrists and psychologists are made available, sometimes round the clock, to the mourners. Once gathered in a single place, these complete strangers often bond over the tragedy and organize into a family association.

What is a family association, you ask? A family association is a powerful thing in many ways. Emotionally, it empowers families by providing a forum to share stories of their loved ones, to have pictures of their loved ones up in the meeting hall alongside other pictures. Politically it bears witness to the adage that there is strength in numbers.

A strong family association meets regularly to make sure that their voice is heard. They have a forum to express valid criticisms of flying conditions, or the investigation, or anything that comes up. They have the strength to make necessary changes to avoid future tragedies. In the Brazil case, the association pressured not only the airline company but the military, federal aviation department, and the airport commission all of whom were suspected to have contributed to the accident. The association pushed for criminal prosecution of those who were negligent, and those who allowed wrongdoing to occur.
I can advise your group about forming an association, or strengthening the one you have already formed. With your attorney's help, it is likely that the airline operator and their insurance carriers may agree to fund regular trips for the families to meet; and they may agree to provide psychological care for those families who need it.

In my opinion, the purpose of an association is to give you a stronger voice, a voice to speak out for yourself, your lost loved ones, and everyone who was affected by the crash. Each seat on that plane was occupied by a human being who was someone's husband, father, brother son; wife, mother, daughter, sister. And they left behind families who can join together so that those stilled voices can yet be heard.


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