Mayor Bill de Blasio attended the annual memorial service marking the November 12, 2001 crash of American Airlines Flight #587. For the fourth time as mayor de Blasio joined attendees at the service, held at the memorial constructed just off the beach on Rockaway’s Beach 116th Street. The flight was headed from JFK to the Dominican Republic and the majority of those onboard were Dominican Americans and Dominican nationals. The crash also killed five people on the ground in Rockaway.
de Blasio was infamously late to the 2014 memorial service, his first as mayor. He missed the moment of silence, provoking a firestorm of criticism over his then-frequent tardiness to public events. This year, as in 2015 and 2016, de Blasio arrived early and worked his way through the audience shaking hands, hugging and talking with attendees before the service began. Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato, who represents Rockaway, was the only other elected official to attend. Former Assembly Member Guillermo Linares, now the president of the New York State Higher Education Corporation, attended and spoke on behalf of Governor Cuomo.
Here are Mayor de Blasio’s remarks:
Here is the full service: