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Ceremony commemorating the sinking of the Concordia on the island of Giglio

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On January 13, 2013, the president of SOS Catastrophes was on the Giglio Island with the survivors and bereaved families, following the Costa Concordia shipwreck.

The commemoration had been organized by the municipality with a throw of flowers in the sea, near the wreck, two religious ceremonies and the inauguration of a memorial plaque with the victims’ names inscribed on it. This memorial plaque has been affixed on one of the port walls.

For the victims, this day was full of emotions, both trying and comforting. Trying emotions because for many, the memories are still hurtful especially when seeing the wrecked vessel at the same place as on the tragic night. Comforting emotions because among the victims present that day, a strong solidarity was witnessed and many have felt that being there was helping them.

One will notice that many of the victims present on that day were part of a French delegation; indeed, no help was given by the Costa Company to ease the trip and people have had to deal with things on their own.

In France, fairly early, the 400 and more survivors have gathered through the creation of an association. This has allowed them to better defend their rights and more specifically, for the commemoration, it has facilitated the organization and allowed them to be together.

For SOS Catastrophes, Memory is an important notion following a disaster and the duty of the companies involved in an accident should be to help victims organize and attend commemorations.

A few companies have already understood the latter: for instance, following the plane crash between Rio and Paris, Air France had organized two ceremonies with a few hundred people in Rio (in November 2009) and Paris (on June 1st, 2010).

SOS Catastrophes aims at making sure that following a disaster, victims can systematically have a recollection area and a commemorative ceremony.

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