FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG COMMEMORATES 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 587 TRAGEDY
The following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s remarks as prepared for delivery at the Flight 587 10th Anniversary Memorial Service in Queens. Please check against delivery.
“Monsignor Brown, Reverend Beltre, family and friends, distinguished guests, the Astoria Symphonic Choir, my fellow New Yorkers. Buenos dias a todos. And welcome.
“Hace diez años, perdimos mucho más que hijas e hijos, madres y padres. También perdimos sus sueños y nuestros sueños para ellos.
“Ten years have gone by, but as you know all too well, every day in the wake of tragedy is a day of remembrance, a time to honor, an occasion for finding strength. But everyday, we also know that the presence of those we have loved and lost is always with us.
“One look into the eyes of a child can make us marvel at how much he or she resembles the mother or father taken from us too soon. Each birthday and holiday, graduation or new addition to the family reminds us of the grandfather or grandmother…the cousin or the friend…that we miss so terribly. That is the nature of loss; and it is only fitting that those we love remain with us always.
“That we gather today to remember the lives they led is also fitting. Though we honor them every day, in countless, personal ways, today – publicly, as a people – we also thank those who loved them: for keeping their memories alive, for raising their children, and for finding the strength to go on with your own lives.
“That strength has helped sustain you.
“It has supported you in times of pain and it has allowed you to embrace new challenges. Many of you have gone to college; started families of your own; and given back to your communities in ways both large and small. You have launched new careers, charted new courses, and dared to dream again with renewed faith and purpose. You have lived lives that would surely fill those we honor today with pride.
“And over the past 10 years, your shared strength has transformed grief into hope and promise: The hope that together we will continue heal; And the promise to remember those we lost, and to continue making them proud of us every day.
“That promise extends beyond these shores.
“It’s a promise kept in the Dominican Republic, where Flight 587 was heading on that fateful day and where this morning, todos los Dominicanos también están reunidos en amor y conmemoración.
“The losses suffered 10 years ago also are felt in all eight of the nations that are represented at this ceremony by their flags, and by the dignitaries who have joined us today, and whose presence we welcome.
“There’s another group of people who are forever connected to this beautiful memorial, and who are also always in our prayers: The members of New York’s Finest and Bravest. This morning, Police Officer Dan Byrnes and Firefighter James Sorokac will help us pay tribute to those we lost. After they toll the bell, we will observe a moment of silence.
“Now, we will begin to read the names of those we remember today, and every day.
“Thank you to the Students of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts; musicians Miles Norman and Ivan Rojas, and singers Nathan Villa and Ben Cooley for your beautiful contribution to today’s service. Your talents remind us that love and loss are the most powerful of human emotions – and they are inextricably linked. You also remind us that though the pain of loss remains, we can still experience life’s joys and draw strength from each other.
“That is what they would have wanted for us.
“I want to thank everyone who has taken part in this observance for their heartfelt contributions.
“Now, please join me – as I walk to the memorial to pay my respects to the victims of the Flight 587 tragedy. They will always live on in our hearts.
“Seguirán presentes en nuestros corazones.”
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958
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