On September 2nd, 1998, Swissair Flight 111 departed from New York on a scheduled flight to Geneva. About an hour after take-off, the flight crew first noticed an unusual smell in the cockpit and only minutes later smoke. They set course on Halifax International Airport, Canada, to attempt an emergency landing, but the situation aboard the aircraft deteriorated quickly. Control over the plane was lost as it was only about 40 miles short of the runway. The aircraft crashed into the ocean near Peggy’s Cove, a small fishing town southwest of Halifax. All 215 passengers and 14 crew members lost their lives. This tragedy changed our lives, as we lost our husband, our father.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, we visited Nova Scotia and the Halifax area on several occasions. Every time again, we were deeply impressed by the immense sympathy, helpfulness, generosity as well as dedication of the Nova Scotian people. Therefore we decided to use part of our indemnities we had received to establish this Foundation, which was incorporated in Switzerland in May of 2003.

Our aim is to express, through this Foundation, the sincerest thanks of the Burckhardt family to the population of Nova Scotia, with a special thought to the search and rescue teams and the fishermen of St. Margaret’s Bay. At the same time, we want to bear in remembrance Erich, our husband and father.