Still Waiting For Answers

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NEW YORK: One year to the day their lives were torn asunder by a fiery explosion over Long Island, there still are no answers for the families and friends of the 230 passengers on TWA Flight 800, and little hope of answers to come. But for the hundreds of mourners who gathered at St. Patrick's Cathedral for a memorial mass remembering the TWA victims, finding answers was less important than finding healing. "It seems like such a long time since I've had a hug," sighed Aurelie Becker of St. Petersburg, Florida, wearing a blouse that featured a photo of her smiling, Paris-bound teen-age daughter, Michele. FBI Director Louis Freeh, Roman Catholic Cardinal John O'Connor and New York Mayor Rudolph Guiliani joined the families at the service. "I'll never forget the love you've all displayed and continue to display to each other," Giuliani told them. "All of us have learned many lessons from you, and the chief lesson is love." Giuliani is remembered fondly by many of the families for staying with them all night at the airport when Flight 800 went down, and for personally shepherding assistance and support for them in the immediate aftermath. Still, the Mayor's words cannot take the place of the one thing the NTSB and the FAA have been so far unable to give them: a reason why.