The Gander Memorial is located on the U.S. Army post in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Fort Campbell is located right on the state line of Kentucky and Tennessee, and is about 50 minutes west of Nashville, Tennessee. Fort Campbell is home to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). More information about Fort Campbell can be found here:

Fort Campbell is flourishing with history, monuments, and memorials. There are few places that serve as a place for remembrance on Fort Campbell, and the Gander Memorial is one of them.

On December 12, 1985 248 soldiers were on a flight returning home to Fort Campbell from a peace-keeping mission in Egypt which lasted six months. The flight stopped in Cologne, Germany and then Gander, Canada for fuel stops. Shortly after taking off from Gander, the plane crashed and began to catch fire. The fire started burning just one half of a mile from the runway. The cause of the accident is said to be ice on the wings and an underestimate of the weight on board.There were 248 soldiers on board and 8 crew members (256 total), none of them survived. This plane crash is responsible for the highest number of casualties from an aviation accident in Canada. The accident is also the largest loss of life in a single day that the 101st has ever experienced. 

Family members were gathering in a gymnasium on the army installation getting ready to welcome their soldiers back home on December 12. Instead, they were given the tragic news. Amy Gallo was there to greet her husband and recalls the moment they were given the news. Gallo said, "I've never heard so many women yelling and screaming in my life". Gallo shared more of her experience and the weeks, months and years after the life changing event in an interview:

The memorial on Fort Campbell to honor all of the victims is composed of a variety of elements. 

When driving down Airborne Road you will see an area covered in rows of neatly planted trees, one for each service member who lost their life due to the plane accident. The trees go down the road about 1/8 of a mile. 

Image showing just a small amount of the 248 trees. 

Each tree has a small plaque that is in front of it. The plaques state the name of rank of the victim that the tree represents.

Plaque for Staff Sergeant (SSG) Steven Andreoff

The memorial and trees itself were a generous donation from the people of Canada. There is a plaque that explains the memorial, it reads: Donated by the people of Canada to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in memory of the 248 courageous soldiers who died in Gander, Newfoundland, December 12, 1985. Each tree stands as a living memorial. The forest testifies to their united commitment to global peacekeeping. Blessed are the Peacemakers, St. Matthew 5, Verse 9.

Plaque that is placed in front of the trees 

Stand where the above plaque is placed. 

If you were to turn around and walk in the opposite direction of the plaque and trees, you will see a large monument in place. 

Monument part of the Gander Memorial

The monument has a large center piece that depicts the image of a kneeling soldier and a family looking over the soldier. 

Center piece of monument

On both sides of the center piece is the extensive list of all the service members who lost their lives. You can find a full list of the soldiers who lost their lives here: 

Right side of monument

Left side of monument

The memorial and monument is a major part of Fort Campbell. There is no question that with the extreme number of casualties that the events that happened in Gander have left a hole in the community. Every year on the anniversary of the plane crash there is a memorial ceremony to honor all the victims and their families. The memorial consists of a small ceremony, laying of a holiday wreathe on the memorial, and the playing of taps. Family members, soldiers, and community members all gather to pay their respects as well as remember the legacy of the soldiers who lost their life on December 12, 1985.