Family and friends of more than 250 people killed when Flight 587 crashed in Belle Harbor 12 years ago braved bitter wind and falling snow to pay their respects to the victims.
More than 100 people gathered at a memorial designed by Dominican artist Freddy Rodríguez and Situ Studio and constructed on Beach 116th Street and the Rockaway boardwalk for a service led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg Tuesday morning. A small plaque marks the location on Beach 131st Street in Belle Harbor, where the American Airlines flight actually went down.
Many attendees huddled under umbrellas and clutched roses in gloved hands as the names of the 260 aboard the plane and five people on the ground were read.
Afterward, Bloomberg placed three flowers in cutouts of the memorial, which bears the inscription “Afterwards I want nothing more than peace” in Spanish.
Maria DeJesus made the trip from Harlem with her 11-year-old daughter Angeline Celestino to honor her husband Angel, who was a passenger on the flight,
DeJesus was pregnant with Angeline at the time of the crash, and the girl is named after the father she never had the chance to meet.
DeJesus said she was grateful that the city and Bloomberg organized memorial services for the families every year.
“I want to thank him,” she said. “This is his last year.”
Taking Flight 587, the first daily flight out of New York to Santo Domingo, had become a tradition for many Dominicans and Domincan-Americans, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
Cuomo directed flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff for the 12th anniversary.
Reach managing editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at email@example.com by phone at 718-260-4589.
©2013 Community News Group
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