Updated 03/25/2011 10:21 PM
Relatives Of Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Victims Keep Lessons From Tragedy Alive
People who lost family members in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire joined a Friday procession to Greenwich Village to remember relatives lost a century ago, and to stress that New York City cannot forget the lessons learned from the tragedy. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
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Rosie Weiner, one of 146 victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, was only 19 when she died.
"She jumped from the ninth floor window. According to reports, she was holding her friend Tessie Wisner's hand," said Suzanne Pred-Bass, Weiner's great-niece.
Pred-Bass was one of hundreds marching in a Friday procession from Union Square to the scene of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Another of her great-aunts, Rosie's 17-year-old sister Katie, somehow survived that day 100 years ago.
"She grabbed the cable, really so courageously, of the last elevator to leave the ninth floor and saved herself. It was really remarkable," said Pred-Bass.
Annie Springsock, then 17 years old, also survived. Her granddaughter, Eileen Nevitt, came from California to pay tribute to her and the historical impact of the fire.
"These safeguards in work places, to make sure that our workplaces are safe, were hard-fought-for protections," said Nevitt. "And I think it is very important for all Americans to realize that we should very much make sure that our safeguards continue."
Denise DiCapua and Mary Alice Del Castillo were there to remember 17-year-old Josie Del Castillo, DiCapua's great-aunt who was lost in the fire.
"As a young child I has only knew that there was a relative that died in this fire, but in the past year or so we have gotten to learn more about her life and the events surrounding the fire," said DiCapua.
"I just felt that on the 100th anniversary, some members of the family should be here to remember Josie, and what happened," said Del Castillo, the wife of the victim's great-nephew.
The message from everyone at the procession was to not forget those lessons learned from a tragic day that changed so much for so many.