Flight 587 Tragedy Remembered 16 Years Later

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On Sunday, November 12, friends, families, local elected officials and residents remembered the victims who died 16 years ago in the crash of American Airlines Flight 587. Many, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, gathered at the memorial on Beach 116th Street for an annual remembrance ceremony.

On November 12, 2001, Flight 587 had some issues right after taking off from JFK Airport. The plane crashed down in Belle Harbor, instantly killing the 260 people on board and five people on the ground, including Thomas and Helen Concannon, Kathy Lawler and her son, Christopher, and Franco Pomponio. At the time, the proximity to the September 11th terrorist attacks stoked fears that the crash might have been deliberate, but an FAA investigation demonstrated that the failure of Flight 587 was due to pilot error. A monument was erected on Beach 116th years later to memorialize the tragedy.

“It’s important to mark such a human tragedy, and the service held on Beach 116th was beautiful,” Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, who attended the ceremony, said. “The monument itself is a fitting coda to such senseless loss.  The inscription in English and Spanish: ‘Despues, No Quiero Mas Que Paz’ (‘Afterwards, I Want No More than Peace’) encapsulates our feelings, those of our residents and those of the Dominican communities impacted in New York City and the Dominican Republic.  Our love goes to those families and communities.”

Photos from The Mayor’s Office and Stacey Pheffer Amato’s office.

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