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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Delivers Remarks at Flight 587 15th Annual Memorial

November 12, 2016

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good morning, everyone. Buenos dias a todos. We just heard the names of 265 good people. They were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors. I’m humbled to be here with you again for this solemn moment. 

15 years to the day, they were taken from us. To all who are gathered here, to all the family, the friends, the members of this community, we want you to know simply and clearly that New York City is with you.

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

We share your pain and we will never forget. 

I want to thank and honor the members of the NYPD and FDNY who are here with us. I want to thank in particular Detective Dan Burns of the NYPD; Firefighter James [inaudible]; and I’d like to acknowledge all of the members of my administration and thank them for being here as well. 

The members of the families who read the names – such a solemn responsibility – we thank them all. Gina Rosario, who lost her mother, Regina Arroyo; Gabriela Despradel, who lost her father, Roberto, and her brothers, Roberto Jr. and Lorenzo; Belkis Lora, who lost her brother, Jose Fransisco; and Mary [inaudible], who lost her husband, Edward Anthony States.

Thank you as well – we’re joined by Assemblywoman-elect Stacey Pheffer Amato. We thank you.

A shock occurred in this city November 12th, 2001 – a shock that was felt from Bell Harbor all the way to the Dominican Republic. A baby born that day would now already be in high school, that’s how much time has passed. But for all those who lost a loved one, it feels so sharp, so fresh in your minds. 

I’ve spoken with many of you today, and I hear time and again how the passing of time has not healed the wound and how, thank God, you have each other to see you through a day like this. It is a physically very cold day – that’s a reminder of the sharp pain you felt that day and have felt ever since. But I also could feel a warmth, a solidarity between all of you – the way you have found each other, supported each other, created a bigger family to be there for each other. 

Scripture says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” You have all comforted each other so admirably, and you will continue to need each other in the years ahead. 

Let’s also take comfort in the heroism that day – the men and women of the NYPD and the FDNY who rushed to the scene selflessly to do all they could to help. And let’s take comfort in the way this huge city – 8.5 million people – came together in solidarity and in sympathy for you. 

Your bond, your connection to each other, your support for each other, even amidst the pain, inspires us. 

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

Thank you all for coming together to honor those we lost and the meaning of this day.

Now, it’s my honor to introduce to you the Consul General of the Dominican Republic, and a tireless champion people here in New York City and abroad, Carlos Antonio Castillo. 

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