Family and friends gathered for a ceremony Saturday to honor the 265 lives lost when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in Queens 10 years ago. NY1’s Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
For some, the pain is still too much to bear.
“I'm sorry,” said Valentina Lora. “I have too much pain, too much.”
Lora lost her sister when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in Belle Harbor 10 years ago.
Cathy Ramirez was only 17 when her mother and brother were killed. It was an emotional day as she helped read the names of the 265 victims and paused to gather herself after saying the names of her loved ones.
“We will always love you,” said Ramirez.
A Bell tolled at 9:16 a.m. to mark the moment Flight 587 crashed. It did so shortly after takeoff from JFK airport on its way to the Dominican Republic.
Federal investigators said the plane's tail broke off when pilots overused the rudder in the wake of turbulence from another plane.
251 passengers, nine crew members and five people on the ground were killed.
"We honor them each day in countless ways and 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," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a speech at the service.
Some have moved on, but for the survivors, it's hard to forget what happened at the corner of 131st and Newport Ave.
“My heart breaks for all these people. I'm actually here to thank God that my son is alive, because it could have been one of me sitting there crying and I'm grateful every single day,” said Lois Shorr, whose house was destroyed in the crash. “He barely made it out alive. Literally as the house exploded in flames, he ran out the front door.”
After the ceremony, family members reflected at the memorial wall, which holds the names of their loved ones.
Some of the victims’ family members and survivors went to the actual crash site, just 15 blocks away, to pay their respects.
“Over there it's more touching. It reminds us that they lost their lives there,” said Belkis Lora, who lost her brother in the crash.
A small plaque marks the spot where they were killed.