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89th Anniversary Commemoration
July 24, 2004

Sisters Susan Decker and Barbara Decker Wachholz, granddaughters of survivor Borghild Aanstad and co-founders of the Eastland Disaster Historical Society, spoke to the crowd that had gathered for the brief ceremony along Wacker Drive.  After Susan and Barbara shared their comments, United States Coast Guard personnel once again acknowledged those whose lives were affected by the tragedy by laying a spray of flowers in the river where the tragedy occurred.  The U.S.C.G. then paid their respect by standing at attention and saluting as the flowers floated on the river's surface.

Immediately following the ceremony, a short program was convened at Bob Chinn's Crab House Chicago.  Bob Chinn's is located directly across the river from the site where the Eastland rolled over, in the historic Reid Murdoch Center.  (During the aftermath of the tragedy, the Reid Murdoch building was used both as a temporary hospital and a temporary morgue.)  The program included a donation by the Timothy family and a reading by author Jay Bonansinga.

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