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Meet Margareth Abraham: A Young Hero from Curaçao Who Sacrificed Herself to Save Others

by | May 4, 2024

In the annals of history, there are tales of courage that transcend time, stories that echo through generations, inspiring awe and admiration. One such story is that of Margareth Abraham, a young hero from Curaçao whose selfless actions aboard ALM Flight 980 in 1970 remain etched in the collective memory of her island community and beyond.

Born in 1945, Margareth Abraham’s life was tragically cut short at the tender age of 24. Yet, in her brief existence, she exemplified the true essence of heroism – putting the safety and well-being of others above her own, even in the face of imminent danger.

Margareth’s journey as a stewardess for ALM Airlines was marked by dedication and professionalism. On that fateful day in May 1970, she embarked on what would be her final flight, bound from New York’s JFK International Airport to St. Maarten. Little did she know that this routine journey would become a test of her courage and resilience.

As Flight 980 neared its destination, tragedy struck. The aircraft, for reasons still shrouded in mystery, plummeted toward the waters near St. Croix. In those harrowing moments, Margareth sprang into action, epitomizing grace under pressure. Amidst chaos and confusion, she remained steadfast, assisting passengers with the donning of life vests and ensuring their safety to the best of her ability.

When the realization of the impending crash dawned upon her, Margareth’s instincts kicked in. With unwavering determination, she moved swiftly down the aisle, urging passengers to return to their seats and brace for impact. Her actions, though heroic, came at a grave cost.

In the final moments before the plane struck the water, Margareth found herself thrown forward, her body colliding with the cockpit door. The force of the impact proved fatal, claiming her life in an instant. Yet, her legacy endured, a testament to her courage and sacrifice.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Margareth’s selflessness was honored in myriad ways. Her name now adorns the airport address in Curaçao, serving as a poignant reminder of her bravery and dedication. A mural, capturing her likeness in vivid detail, stands as a tribute to her indomitable spirit, ensuring that her memory remains alive in the hearts of all who pass through those airport halls.

But perhaps the most enduring legacy of Margareth Abraham is the impact she continues to have on future generations. Her story, immortalized in film by local filmmaker Selwyn de Wind, serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration, reminding us that true heroism knows no bounds.

As we reflect on the life of Margareth Abraham, let us honor her memory by emulating her selflessness and compassion. May her legacy serve as a guiding light, illuminating the path toward a future defined by courage, empathy, and unwavering resolve.

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