Families of those killed when TWA Flight 800 exploded in the air off Long Island's east shoreline gathered in Smithpoint, N.Y., to mark the crash's 17th anniversary.
All 230 people aboard were killed when the Boeing jet blew up less than a half hour after leaving Kennedy International Airport.
Margaret Krick's son was the flight engineer aboard the 747.
"I feel this is the most healing, connected place to be. And I would never be anywhere else on this day," said Krick.
"He died with the things he loved: his airplane, people and the water. So it really connects me in a very special way."
Jim Hurd visited a memorial Wednesday to view the name of the son he lost. John Seaman said the passage of time has helped him cope with the loss of his 19-year-old niece.
"I guess there will always be questions, conspiracy theories," said Michael Persico, a former TWA captain. "But tonight, we want to say we feel everybody's pain."