NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the families of the eight people killed in last year’s terror attack on the West Side Highway, but at that memorial service honoring the victims today, the mayor forgot to mention them at all.
His morning’s news conference started out appropriately enough, with de Blasio recalling the terrifying moments when accused terrorist Sayfullo Saipov plowed into a group of people on the West Side bike path one year ago today, reports CBS2’s Jessica Moore.
“It was a moment we feared would come and did arrive in this city,” he said.
But the memorial came to an awkward halt when the mayor offered only a generic mention of the people killed.
“We lost good souls that day,” said de Blasio. “New Yorkers and visitors alike, and we’re here today to remember them, to mourn them…”
But apparently not to mention them by name, at least not at first.
The mayor wrapped up his remarks applauding first responders and made his way into the crowd to shake hands with the victims’ families.
Full Video: NYC Marks 1 Year Since West Side Terror Attack
Minutes later, after someone pointed out the oversight, de Blasio returned to the podium.
“I want to apologize,” he said. “This should have been part of the gathering to read the names of the eight we lost, so I want to right that wrong and do that now so I’d ask everyone to bow their heads as we do that now.”
A representative from the mayor’s office said tonight the program did not originally include a reading of the names, but when the families raised the issue, the mayor agreed and read the names.
Those killed in the attack were:
- Darren Drake, of New Milford, New Jersey
- Nicholas Cleves, of New York City
- Ann-Laure Decadt, of Belgium
- Hernán Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damián Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi, a group of friends from Rosario, Argentina
In addition, 11 other people were injured during the attack.
This isn’t the first time Mayor de Blasio has snubbed family members at a mass tragedy memorial.
In 2014, he showed up late to mark the anniversary of the 2001 American Airlines Flight 587 crash in Queens and missed the moment of silence entirely.
After missing the Flight 587 memorial in 2014, de Blasio finally admitted that he had overslept.