Family of Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant postpones celebration of life amid COVID restrictions

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The mother of a beloved Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant, who died in a small aircraft accident in Alaska in July, said they will continue to postpone the ceremony to honor her life. She said her daughter touched many people’s lives and wants to include all of them whenever COVID restrictions allow.

Liane Vierra has been on a months-long journey toward healing. Her 27-year-old daughter McKenna Vierra, a cancer survivor and aspiring pilot, died in an airplane accident, along with a 23-year-old pilot.

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“We do have family and friends who come over, we have McKenna in her room and we set up it up to be like a little memorial for her,” Vierra said. “And they come and we invite them to close the door and spend whatever time they need.”

A celebration of life was scheduled for September, but was postponed after rules on gatherings toughened up due to the surge of COVID cases.

But even after the city announced Friday, Oct. 8, it would allow up to 150 people at outdoor funerals, Vierra said she wants to wait a little longer so everyone in her daughter’s life can be there.

“We just want to thank them personally because we really do. Words cannot express our gratitude for the people, not only in Hawaii, but in the mainland. There is aloha out there, there is love and there is care.”

Liane Vierra, mother of beloved Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant

Vierra also is aware of the impacts COVID can have. She said she was a breakthrough case, and her oldest daughter also got sick with the virus and showed severe symptoms.

“And was hospitalized and that was scary,” Vierra explained. “And it was a very trying time; COVID is a serious thing, and so we’d rather wait and be safe than have to live with the regret that we put any of our family or friends in danger.”

Vierra said it has been difficult having to wait to celebrate McKenna’s life, but said she is taking it one step at a time.

“I still have my moments, like now, it is because we miss her, we miss her presence physically,” Vierra said. “But again, we have to love all of our family and friends who sustain us through moments like these.”

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Vierra said she is looking forward for the opportunity to celebrate McKenna’s life surrounded by loved ones. She does not have a date yet, but hopes it is sooner rather than later.

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