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Metro Crash 3rd Anniversary Marked With Memorial Plaque

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Family members of a victim of the 2009 Red Line crash hold on to one another at the unveiling of the memorial plaque.
Armando Trull
Family members of a victim of the 2009 Red Line crash hold on to one another at the unveiling of the memorial plaque.

The nine people who perished in the deadliest Metro rail crash in Washington D.C. were honored on the third anniversary with a plaque that overlooks the accident site. During the ceremony Delores Kendrick, the District's poet laureate delivered a moving eulogy.

"There a somber sound of metal upon metal, flesh upon flesh, the skin of silence," said Kendrick, who tried to both eulogize the dead and give hope to the living. "And we, the fallen, are not victims, but life-giving spirits, cleansed in the crime of a stuttering train."

As Kendricks read, it brought tears to the eyes of survivors, like Carolyn Jenkins, who lost her daughter.

"But we are here today to give the family's hope and the opportunity to reflect on their loved ones," said Jenkins.

The plaque, bearing the names of the nine victims, was installed on the Charles Langley Bridge on New Hampshire Avenue NE, which connects Northeast D.C. to Langley Park. Just below the bridge is the spot where nine people died and scores more were injured in a rail crash in 2009 that was caused by a malfunctioning circuit board.

Mayor Vincent Gray read the plaque's inscription: "What we leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."

Gray promised that the city would move forward with plans to build a memorial park near the site.

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