The crowd began to fill Beach 116 Street in front of the AA 587 Memorial at least an hour before the ceremony began. Many family members and friends were bused to Rockaway from Manhattan and the Bronx. On a chilly, clear day reminiscent of November 12, 2001 when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed into the streets in Belle Harbor, killing 260 on the plane and five locals on the ground, more than 500 family members and friends came to Beach 116 Street and the beachfront for a memorial service. Hosted once again by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the names of all those who died in the tragic crash were read and the bell was tolled in their memory.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg flanked by police and fire officers. The FDNY and NYPD officers tolled the bell at 9:16 a.m., the exact hour the plane crashed into Beach 131 Street and Newport Avenue after departing JFK Airport.
One male family member was overtaken by grief and remembrance.
Young and old were present, many of the toddlers and pre-teens too young to remember those who died on the plane.
Flowers at the plaque marking the crash site.
Rockaway Parks administrator Jill Weber with 100 Precinct Commanding Officer Captain Scott Olexa.
Mayor Bloomberg was the first to place flowers at the memorial wall, inscribed with the names of all those who died that day.
By the time the ceremony began at 9 a.m., the street was standing room only.
Family members read the name of each person who died in the tragic crash, the second deadliest in American aviation history.
Family members were provided with flowers.
Family members and friends wait their turn to place flowers at the memorial.
After the ceremony at Beach 116 Street, many went to the crash site at Beach 131 Street.
After the ceremony, flowers remain at the deserted memorial. Photos by Howard Schwach.