This seven-ton, black granite monument was dedicated in 2019 to the memory of those who died and those who lived through the 1977 plane crash of the iconic Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.
On October 20, 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd was flying to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a concert at Louisiana State University, when their plane ran out of fuel. It crashed into the woods near Gillsburg, Mississippi. Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, singer Cassie Gaines, manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray were killed in the accident. Twenty others survived the crash.
This tragedy abruptly halted Lynyrd Skynyrd’s career. Ten years later, Van Zant’s brother Johnny reformed the band. The site of the crash became a memorial for fans, rescuers, and survivors. An oak tree nearby has Lynyrd Skynyrd iconography carved into it, and this monument was installed by locals in 2019.
The monument stands eight feet tall and 14 feet wide. Six steps lead up to the memorial, one for every person who died in the crash. The monument is approximately 400 yards from the actual crash site. The artistic etchings on the backside are not to be missed.
Details of the ill-fated flight, as well as information about the rescuers and survivors, can be found found at the memorial.
Know Before You Go
The monument is free of charge, open 24/7. There is a paved parking lot and it is handicap accessible.