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CAP honoring a true hero, Margareth Abraham

Willemstad, May 2, 2024

Each year, May 2nd brings bittersweet memories to those who were close to the events on the fateful day that Ms. Margareth Abraham boarded what would be her last flight. This remains an impacting event for our local aviation industry and even after more than five decades later, it still causes great sadness to her loved ones and all who knew her.

Margareth Abraham was one of the flight attendants on ALM’s flight 980 departing from New York’s JFK international airport to St. Maarten, on May 2, 1970. She secured the safety of many passengers before the aircraft ditched near the coast of St. Croix. She put their lives first and unfortunately, she lost her own. The 24-year-old Margareth Abraham was honored by naming our airport address after her: Margareth Abraham Plasa.

“There is so much to this story that we wish to preserve and ensure it keeps being told for generations to come. It is not permissible for her selfless act to ever be forgotten. “We believe this transcends just a tragic event”, said Mr. Jonny Andersen, CEO of CAP.

Therefore, during a special ceremony on May 2, 2024, commemorating the 54th anniversary of her tragic passing, CAP proudly unveiled a captivating mural honoring Margareth Abraham. Prominently situated on the airport façade outside the Arrival Hall, the mural, painted by local artist Bagira, meticulously portrays Margareth’s likeness based on one of her favorite pictures. In addition, the mural incorporates a QR code located on the right side, which directs viewers to CUR's dedicated webpage to learn more about her remarkable story:

During the commemoration ceremony, the lineup of speakers featured notable figures such as Mr. Jeffrey Abraham, representing the family as the youngest son of Margareth’s late twin brother, Carol Abraham, and Mr. Tobias ‘Tito’ Cordeiro, the sole surviving steward from the flight. Additionally, Mr. Robby Schouten, Margareth’s fiancé, who resides abroad, sent a heartfelt video message which was played during the ceremony. Furthermore, Ms. Margy Bond, the Consul General of the USA, Mr. Ruisandro Cijntje, the Minister of Economic Development and Mr. Charles Cooper, the Minister of Traffic, Transportation and Urban Planning also presented their speeches during the ceremony.

The much-awaited unveiling of the mural was done by Mr. Jonny Andersen together with Mr. Wilhelmus Ignacio, Managing Director of Curaçao Airport Holding, Prime Minister Gilmar Pisas and Minister Cijntje. Furthermore, Mr. Andersen presented a mini painting, a replica of the mural, to Mr. Jeffrey Abraham as representative of Margareth's family. This gesture ensures that they have a replica of the mural to cherish in their homes.

The plaque sent to Margareth’s family by the then President of the United Sates, Mr. Richard M. Nixon, as a thankful tribute to her, has been temporarily relocated to the Arrival Hall, as CAP makes adaptations to provide it with a prominent permanent new spot within the Terminal. It was adorned with beautiful flowers, and all attendees had the opportunity to pass by, admire it, and read its inscription. 

Mr. Andersen concluded the event with a surprise announcement, revealing that the creation of Margareth Abraham's documentary, directed by our own local storyteller and extraordinary director, Selwyn de Wind, had already begun. This carefully planned initiative, aimed at immortalizing her legacy, seeks to ensure that her remarkable story lives on for generations to come. The premiere is scheduled for May 2, 2025, which marks the 55th anniversary of her tragic passing, and will take place at The Movies Otrobanda. Furthermore, Mr. Andersen expressed his heartfelt thanks to Mr. Wilhelmus Ignacio, Managing Director of Curaçao Airport Holding (CAH), for his invaluable support as one of the partners of this documentary. Without hesitation, Mr. Ignacio readily embraced the opportunity when approached about his involvement.

With initiatives such as this mural, the documentary, and the placement of her plaque in a prominent location within the airport terminal, Margareth Abraham's legacy will continue to inspire and resonate for years to come.