FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2010
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SPEAKS AT FLIGHT 587 NINTH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL SERVICE
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's remarks as delivered
"Monsignor Brown, Reverend Beltre, my fellow New Yorkers: Buenos dias a todos. And welcome to this memorial. For nine years now we have gathered at this time to honor the memories of the passengers and crew of Flight 587, along with the five residents of Belle Harbor who lost their lives on this day.
"In the span of those nine years, our lives have changed, and so has the great city around us. But what has remained constant is the unity of this group. In the beginning you shared only grief and sorrow. But as the years have passed, friendships have grown, connections have been forged, and your love for one another has strengthened.
"So too have the links between our city and the Dominican Republic - two vibrant and beautiful places that suffered terrible losses on the same day. And today we find solace in the fact that 1,500 miles from where we now stand, residentes de la Republica Dominicana también están reunidos en amor y conmemoración.
"Of course, the losses we suffered were not felt just by New York and the Dominican Republic, but by all eight of the nations that are represented at this ceremony by their flags. And we extend a special thanks to all of the foreign dignitaries who have joined us today.
"In a city as diverse as New York, any tragedy that befalls us ripples through the international community. And when another country is suffering, as Haiti did after the terrible earthquake, we feel it here, too. As New Yorkers, we share in the world's grief, and in its joy. And it shares in ours. And that means that we are never really alone. Nunca estamos solos.
"I hope you feel today, as we gather together at this memorial so beautifully designed by the great artist, Freddy Rodriguez. Since so many aboard Flight 587 had been visiting family in New York, or were going to see relatives back in the Dominican Republic, the design that he came up with captures the universal longing to return home. And although you miss your loved ones terribly, I hope it provides some comfort to think that they have, in a sense, returned home to a place of eternal peace.
"There's another group who are forever in our prayers and forever connected to this spot, and those are the members of our Finest and Bravest. Nine years ago today, they responded to the tragedy of Flight 587 with the skill and courage that are the hallmarks of the best police and fire departments in the world. In acknowledgement of that, Police Officer Dan Byrnes and Firefighter James Sorokac will now help us pay tribute to those we lost. After they toll the bell, there will be a moment of silence.
"Now, Monsignor Brown will begin to read the names of those we remember today, and every day. And he will be followed by family members of those who were lost, as well as by other clergy members.
"Gracias, Flora, for that beautiful performance. Your words and your voice remind us that love and loss are the most powerful of human emotions - and they are inextricably linked, so thank you very much.
"I also want to thank everyone who has taken part in this observance for their heartfelt contributions. And now, to conclude this ceremony, I would like to ask all of you to join me as I walk to the memorial to pay my respects to the victims of Flight 587 and the great tragedy that befell those people. May God grant them eternal peace. Y que Dios los bendiga."
Stu Loeser/ Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958
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