10 September 2009

Beverly's effective advocacy lives on in the efforts of her sisters

Intelligent, capable, energetic and determined -- some of the words used to describe the Eckert sisters and explain their successes, and reason enough to not stand in their way once they decide on a course of action. Beverly, Susan, Margaret and Karen individually and working together have done impressive things, and a recent Associated Press article by Carolyn Thompson weaves together the story of Beverly's activism for 9/11 reform and the work done by Sue Bourque and Karen Eckert in the cause of airline safety.

Sue and Karen noted that the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 on Feb. 12 that took Beverly from them did not "silence Beverly's voice or spirit," according to Thompson.

"If anything, she would want us to have her voice ... I want her voice to resonate," Karen Eckert said.

It already has in the way it has opened doors of senators and representatives to 3407 families. Many knew Beverly, or knew of her.

Her voice resonates in the minds of her sisters, too: whenever they present their fact- and solution-driven case for better pilot training and hiring practices, fatigue management and closer government oversight of the airline industry.

"We have an agenda. The one thing we knew is we can't just go there and say `please help us because we lost our loved ones,'" Karen Eckert said.

"We knew we had to be organized," Bourque said, recalling Beverly's ability to boil down issues to talking points which she could take to lawmakers.

Recently, Sue sent a message to a number of Beverly's friends, providing more details the the work she and Karen and others have been doing to promote better airline safety:

Beverly’s own courage and determination showed us the way. After the loss of Sean, she made a commitment to work for changes that would keep a horror such as the events of 9/11 from ever happening again. Because of her efforts and those of other 9/11 Family members, our country is a safer place.

We mirror her commitment today in another critical area: to improve airline safety for all. We are working to bring about changes in the airline industry that will prevent fatigued, undertrained and underpaid pilots from entering the cockpit. Accomplishing that is our commitment to our sister and her legacy.

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