A memorial to commemorate the collapse in 1981 of two 32-ton skywalks at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Mo.

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In the lounge at the top of the 40-story Hyatt Regency hotel, where people sip drinks and gaze at the twinkling skyline, there is no hint of the long-ago horror.

But for people like Brent Wright, it can never be forgotten. On July 17, 1981, Mr. Wright was 17 years old and working the loading docks at Macy’s, saving money for college, when he heard a radio bulletin about the hotel’s skywalk collapsing into a swing dance in the lobby. He tried to call his mother, Karen Jeter, wondering if she knew anyone there.

There was no answer.

“My mother was the talker, the hugger,” Mr. Wright, now a 45-year-old lawyer, said as he fought to choke back tears. “She liked popcorn. She liked tennis. And she liked to dance.”

Mr. Wright is a member of the Skywalk Memorial Foundation, which is leading a movement to build a memorial to the 114 people who lost their lives in the collapse, including his 37-year-old mother and her husband, Eugene Jeter. It was said to be the worst structural disaster in the nation’s history.

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