Kansas City, MO – Tentative plans were unveiled yesterday for a memorial honoring victims of the skywalk collapse at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in 1981. Yesterday marked the 27th anniversary of the disaster in which 114 people died, and hundreds were injured.
In the past two years, survivors and family members of the victims formed a committee to draw up plans and gain public support for a memorial. In Washington Square Park, next to the Hyatt, committee members presented a sketch of tiered flower gardens, a fountain and sculptures. Skywalk Memorial Foundation board member Brent Wright lost his mother and stepfather in the disaster. He says it's time for a monument to remember the victims and their rescuers.
WRIGHT: Two years after the collapse there was an effort, about 10 years after the collapse there was an effort, and frankly at that time I think it was too soon. People were grieving. It was a difficult time in the history of Kansas City.
The current manager of the Hyatt Regency Crown Center says he supports the efforts to develop a permanent memorial. But the plans need approval from the Kansas City Parks Board. Committee members say this design is just intended to get the ball rolling.