SHIRLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Monday marked the 21st anniversary of the crash of TWA flight 800, which killed all 230 people on board.
Family members gathered at the seaside memorial of the site, still questioning what brought down the Paris bound jet.
It was a silent, and sad tribute for relatives who scanned the black granite wall in Smith Point County Park in Suffolk County, remembering loved ones who plunged to their death when TWA flight 800 was blown apart in mid-air on its way to Paris.
"I told him, 'I should go with you on this flight,' and he said, 'no mom, it's my last training flight," Margareta Krick said.
Krick's son Oliver was the doomed plane's flight engineer.
He had just turned 25 and was proud of his new job.
She's never accepted the government's explanation that an overheated central fuel tank malfunctioned and blew up.
"I don't voice my opinion, but in my heart I know what happened," she said.
Krick is among the family members who remain disturbed by the numerous eyewitness reports claiming to see something streaking toward the plane just before it exploded, possibly a missile.
Investigators dismissed the reports as impossible, but many local residents are still not persuaded.
"Too many people saw too many things, they were discredited and not brought in for further questioning," Sue Fierra said.
Despite the controversy, many family members visit the memorial on every anniversary, yet even 21 years later still cannot publicly speak about their loss.
Eleanor and John Seaman's 18-year-old niece Michelle was on her way to a friend's wedding in Paris.
James Heard still recalls how eager his 29-year-old son was to see his fiance in France.
All said they take comfort now, from how Long Islanders desperately searched the flaming water that night for survivors.
"I am so touched to this day by how people responded. They gave it their all," Krick said.
And have become forever united in both grief and pride, that those lost will never be forgotten.
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