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Metrolink Memorial: One Year After the Crash

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Yesterday, friends, family, co-workers, and community members gathered in Stoney Point Park in Chatsworth to hold a memorial service and dedication of a plaque to honor the lives lost one year ago in the Metrolink-Union Pacific train crash. In addition to the Chatsworth event on Saturday a memorial was held in Simi Valley at the Metrolink Memorial Plaza, which was where Metrolink 111 would have next stopped had the train not collided with a freight train. There at the station, "individual plaques bearing the name of each person who died in the crash, and messages suggested by their families," have been installed at the east platform, according to the Daily Breeze.

At Stoney Point Park, a somber service included the reading of the names of all the victims, including that of the Metrolink conductor, Robert M. Sanchez, who "is believed to have ignored a stop signal shortly before the crash." His inclusion in the memorial was painful for many who believe he caused the devastation and should not be counted as a victim; in the probe following the horrific accident details regarding his on-the-job conduct were revealed, including letting others drive the train and engaging in text messaging while working. "Sanchez's mention drew raised eyebrows in the audience and infuriated at least one listener," during yesterday's memorial.

Some, however, believe that his loss of life is as important to honor as the rest who died one year ago. These memorials cannot replace those who were lost, but will hopefully keep their memory alive.