Brother of MU plane crash victim to speak
HUNTINGTON -- Mo Lajterman, the brother of Marshall University plane crash victim Marcelo Lajterman, is speaking at this year's memorial service.
Mo Lajterman lives in New Jersey and visits Marshall maybe once every couple of years, a school news release said. Yet he and all of the Lajtermans, including his brothers, Tito and Abe, have a long-distance relationship with the school.
The annual service is Nov. 14 beginning at noon at the Memorial Student Center fountain. The service concludes with the placing of the memorial wreath at the fountain. The fountain will be silenced after the wreath is placed until next spring.
Other speakers from Marshall will include student body president Ray Harrell Jr., president Stephen J. Kopp, athletic director Mike Hamrick and head football coach Doc Holliday.
The public is invited to attend the event, which is conducted by the Student Government Association.
Marcelo Lajterman, the Thundering Herd kicker, was one of 75 victims of the Nov. 14, 1970 crash returning the football team from a game against East Carolina in Greenville, N.C. The DC-9 jetliner clipped some treetops just short of Tri-State Airport and went down. Victims included 36 Marshall football players, nine coaches and administrators, 25 fans and the crew of five.
"I'm a very emotional person," said Mo Lajterman, who was 17 when the plane went down. "I'm not a professional speaker. I try to speak from the heart. It was such a tragic accident and it still feels like it was yesterday. We still cry over it. But these trips to Huntington help.
"We feel really close to our brother when we make these trips."
Although it has been 42 years since the crash, the Lajterman family makes sure Marcelo's name lives on through the Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The Marshall University Foundation, Inc., announced establishment of the scholarship in 2008. In 2010, members of the family presented the foundation with a check for $23,000 to endow the scholarship. Marcelo wore No. 23 on his jersey.
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