The annual commemoration of the crash of American Airlines Flight #587 was held Tuesday in Rockaway, with mourners gathering for a ceremony centered around a bell ringing and minute of silence marking the exact moment of the crash followed by a reading of the names of the 265 victims. The flight was headed from JFK to the Dominican Republic and the passengers were predominantly Dominican and Dominican-American. Five of the victims were Rockaway residents killed by the falling aircraft.
The cold wet windswept morning brought an added dose of misery to the attendees remembering the lost, with the temperature falling through the 40’s as a light rain fell. There were fewer attendees than recent years, due perhaps to both the weather and the gradual fading that passing years brings, but the memorial remains a deeply sad annual moment in the City’s civic life, resurfacing the attendees’ grief as they gather to focus on their lost family and friends and recall the shock of tragedy as the City struggled to recover from the September 11th attacks that had just occurred.