2006-11-17 / Community

Five Years After The Crash, Flowers,Tears And A New Memorial

Five years after American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A-300, crashed into the intersection of Newport Avenue and Beach 131 Street in Belle Harbor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other dignitaries unveiled a new memorial to the 265 people who died in the November 12, 2001 accident.

Overlooking the ocean at the southern end of Beach 116 Street, the $9.2 million, 7,115 square foot memorial designed by Freddy Rodriquez, is comprised of a curved and perforated wall, made up of blocks of vermillion granite that was imported from Canada. The 265 names - nine flight crew, 251 passengers and five local residents - are carved on 190 blocks. The names are listed in alphabetical order, except where family groups are concerned. In addition, the flight crew is listed together as are the five Belle Harbor residents.

Along the wall are holes of varying shapes and sizes so that the sea and sky might be seen while viewing the names on the wall. Family members used those holes on Sunday to place flowers and personal items related to their relatives who died in the crash.

The site will now be maintained by the city's Parks Department.

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