November 6, 2017
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Welcome, everyone. We’re gathered for a somber occasion but one that is so important both to the people of Argentina and to the people of New York City and our entire country.
Chirlane and I want to thank President Macri and First Lady Awada for being here at this very important, difficult time. We live 5,000 miles apart but we feel a tremendous sense of unity and a deep connection right now.
And we share the same heartache, we share the same grief because this is a loss we have in common. I want to thank all the members of my administration and all the representatives of the Argentine government who are here.
Mr. President, on Tuesday, we all felt a sense of shock and you see this setting – this peaceful, tranquil setting where good, innocent people were enjoying the beauty of this city. And that’s what we understand about the horror of terrorism that it is aimed at the innocent, it’s aimed at the unassuming, and it’s meant to change us and undermine us, to make us doubt ourselves and our values.
Eight innocent lives were cruelly taken right along this pathway. Our prayers are with the victims and with their families. We feel their grief. It doesn’t matter what hemisphere they call home, it doesn’t matter what nationality, we feel the grief in common.
But let’s be clear, this was not just an attack on eight individuals. It was not just an attack on New York City, it was not just an attack on the United States of America, it was an attack on all of humanity.
It was meant to tear us apart, to undermine our faith in each other. It was an attack the values we share as people who love freedom, who appreciate a pluralistic society, who believe we can all get along.
Six of those who were lost were visiting New York City from other countries including a mother of two from Belgium. The country that lost the most was Argentina – five of your citizens, who we honor and mourn today.
Everyone knows the story now – a group of ten friends, friends for a lifetime, who came here to celebrate that bond. It’s even more painful to know that what they were doing was such an affirmation of all that is good about life. They ended up being the victims.
Mr. President, we will forever remember them as New Yorkers and feel they are a part of us. This city is proud to be a place for every kind of person. We’re proud to be a place where every faith, every nationality, people of every walk of life come together each day not in perfect harmony but in the spirit of living and let live.
And that is the very thing the terrorists want to undermine – a place where everyone can respect each other, where all faiths are treated with equality is an affront to the terrorist ideology. It’s even more important that we affirm our faith in each other and our commitment to continuing to be a place for everyone.
We will always be open and welcome to people of all backgrounds, to visitors from all over the world. And even in the depths of our grief, we will not stop being who we are and we will not change our values.
And I have to just thank all the people of New York City for the way they addressed this crisis by immediately showing the terrorists would not change our way of life. Nothing was more powerful than the marathon yesterday.
Two million people came out just days after this attack, 125 nations were represented among the runners, what an example of what we all aspire to and what we remain committed to.
Just a few words in Spanish –
[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]
With that, it is an honor to welcome the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri.
President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri: Good morning, everybody. Thank you, Mayor de Blasio for your words. And as I told you before, especially I want to thank you in the name of all the Argentines for the care given to the Argentine group and their family.
[President Macri speaks in Spanish]