Mourners mark 12th anniversary of Flight 587 crash in Rockaways

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Photo gallery

Wanda Lora rests her hand on the name of her late brother, Jose Lora. At the time of the crash, Jose Lora and his sister were living in Jamaica. Photo by Christina Santucci
A yellow rose rests alongside one of 265 names in the Flight 567 monument. Photo by Christina Santucci
Mourners hold flowers during the Flight 587 memorial service. Photo by Christina Santucci
A woman pauses in front of the memorial on Beach 116th Street. Photo by Christina Santucci
Roses are placed inside one of the cutouts. Photo by Christina Santucci
Maria DeJesus holds a photo of her late husband Angel Celestino, as she links arms with her daughter Angeline. Photo by Christina Santucci
Gina Cruz of Ridgewood holds a photo of her late mother Regina Arroyo, as she stands beside her brother Johnny Rosario of Brooklyn. Photo by Christina Santucci
Mayor Michael Bloomberg (l.) walks onto the memorial to place roses for Flight 587 victims. Photo by Christina Santucci
A woman is seen through one of the memorial's cutouts. Photo by Christina Santucci
Attendees embrace following the service. Photo by Christina Santucci
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (c.) joins former Assemblyman Guillermo Linares (r.) for the service. Photo by Christina Santucci
Mourners cry during a musical performance. Photo by Christina Santucci
Attendees shield themselves from the snow with umbrellas and hoods. Photo by Christina Santucci
Angeline Celestino, 11, poses for a photo taken by her mother Maria DeJesus (r.) in front of her father name. Angeline was born after her father, Angel Celestino, was killed in the crash. Photo by Christina Santucci

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 by phone at 718-260-4589.

Updated 10:27 pm, November 13, 2013
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