Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Delivers Remarks at Flight 587 Memorial Service

November 12, 2017

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you Father Cruz. Thank you for leading us today for the beautiful invocation you started this ceremony with. Good morning, everyone.

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

I am honored to be here for this day that’s so important. Not only for the families gathered here, but for our whole City. I want to acknowledge and thank two individuals who have helped to make this ceremony so special and so important for everyone, Detective Dan Byrnes, NYPD and Firefighter, James Sorokac of the FDNY. Also to the readers who named the family members and expressed what everyone was feeling through their renditions of the names, I want to thank all of them.

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

It was 16 years ago. It was a picture perfect morning. There was no indication that anything would be different that day and then flight 587 fell from the sky and changed the lives of everyone here so painfully. Taking lives of 265 people, every name we heard just now, remembering each and every one of them. And families from Bell Harbor to Santo Domingo were left in painful grief. It’s been 16 full years but when I talk to so many of you, over the years, it’s quite clear how fresh and how sharp the pain still is and how the sorrow lingers.

But I also have heard so many of you speak with joy about those you loved and what they meant to you, how they lived their lives, and what a positive and powerful impact they made on all those around them. Scripture urges us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Today is a day to do both. Through our tears, we remember that one of our City’s worse days, also showed us our City at its best. We saw how strong our proud Dominican community is. We saw people banded together to help each other. We saw the resilience of Bell Harbor, neighbors coming to the aid of each other. We saw as always the bravery of the NYPD and the FDNY.

And over the years, we’ve seen those who lost loved ones forge bonds with each other. New bonds to help in some small way move people forward and as they comforted each other and they helped to create this memorial in the process they made sure that their love for each other would stay strong and the memory of those lost would always be with us. And we continue to make sure that we will always remember and such a good example of that fact occurred just last month, and I want to thank everyone, everyone here and everyone in my administration who helped to achieve this with the City Council when 181st and Amsterdam Avenue was renamed Flight 5-8-7 Way. What a powerful message to a neighborhood that lost so many and that remembers so strongly to have that street renamed to carry on the memory.

It was some of the loved ones here today, some of the relatives who brought this idea to me last year, and I heard, and my colleagues heard, and all together we wanted to make sure that we could add this honor. To everyone, who 16 years later still I’m sure feels lonely sometimes, I want to say to you the City of New York is here with you today, and we will be here with you tomorrow, we will be here with always.

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

On behalf of 8.5 million New Yorkers, we honor together the memory of those who are gone, and we honor the strength of all of you, and all of those who are here, and we say with a full heart.

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

May God bless you all, thank you.

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