Mourners In Brazil And Colombia Remembered The Chapecoense Players Killed In A Plane Crash Last Year

credit: Nelson Almeida / AFP /Getty Images

One year ago, Brazilian pro soccer club Chapecoense was flying to Medellín, Colombia to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Colombia’s Atlético Nacional. Chapecoense, a small club that had moved up to Brazil’s top flight in 2004, was set to play two of its most important matches in club history. Unfortunately, tragedy struck before they landed in Colombia. Eighty-one people were aboard Chapecoense’s plane, which crashed just moments before reaching Medellín. Seventy-five people died, including athletes, coaches, journalists, and crew. Here’s how those lost in this tragedy were remembered one year later.

Soccer players and friends of those lost in the plane took time to reflect.

“What happened to Chapecoense was something that’s very hard to talk about,” said Neymar, who lost friends in the accident. “It was a tragic accident that involved soccer players, but also their families.”

In La Unión, Colombia, the closest city to the crash site, people gathered to remember those who died.

According to El Colombiano, military personnel and mourners took over the main square of La Unión to pay tribute to the athletes killed that day. A moment of silence was observed out of respect for the victims.

Officials unveiled a commemorative plaque in the city square honoring the dead.

Displayed on the plaque are the names of the victims and survivors. The names are grouped together to show the players, journalists, flight crew, and the other passengers on the plane.

There is a time capsule that officials in La Unión are giving to the city of Chapecó. Atlético Nacional players and fans filled the capsule with notes.

The time capsule will be sealed for 40 years, according to El Colombiano. The capsule will make its way to Chapecó after passing through the Atanasio Girardot stadium.

Residents of Chapecó gathered at the town’s stadium just after midnight on Nov. 29 to mark the time the plane crashed.

CREDIT: AFP news agency / YouTube

“It is best to choose reflection and seek peace,” a club spokesperson said in a statement, according to The News and Observer. “Our eternal champions deserve all the tributes, but on this day we need to be respectful with those that remain and with the good memories that need to be eternal.”

Fans filled the stadium with chants for the team they held close to their hearts.

CREDIT: Al Jazeera English / YouTube

They even took to the streets to march in remembrance of those lost.

CREDIT: Al Jazeera English / YouTube

The team that meant so much to so many might be gone but they are definitely not forgotten.


READ: Brazilian Soccer Team’s Cinderella Story Cut Short By Tragic Plane Crash

 

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