NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the hot seat for not attending a solemn ceremony for a memorial dedicated to those who died from toxic exposure at Ground Zero.
You could call it a major misstep on the road to the presidency, reported CBSN New York’s Marcia Kramer. Mayor Bill de Blasio chose to go to the gym and eat a croissant at his favorite patisserie in Park Slope rather than attend a ceremony at Ground Zero.
But the ceremony didn’t go mayor-less. Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg was on hand.
Watch: 9/11 Memorial Glade Dedication Ceremony
“They showed the world what is possible when people work together with a common purpose like the heroes we lost on 9/11. Their selfless acts provided light that helped guide us through our darkest hours, and they allowed our city to rise again,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg was paying tribute to those who died as a result of working at Ground Zero after 9/11, showing up as a $5 million memorial was dedicated to those who selflessly worked at Ground Zero in the dark days after the attack.
Among the missing: Bill de Blasio, the current mayor of New York, who apparently had other priorities. He chose to mark the occasion with a tweet.
“We will never forget them. And to the brave men and women fighting illness, we will never stop fighting for you,” de Blasio wrote.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was also MIA, but aides pointed out he was in Albany for the legislative session and sent a representative. The state also chipped in $500,000 for the memorial.
It was de Blasio’s decision to skip the ceremony that provoked ire on social media.
“That shows more than anything how much he cares for the victims of 9/11,” fumed @NYCEMSwatch
“Your term is our darkest hour,” wrote @Jimmy_Silver.
“You had time for the gym and to parade around the country pandering for votes,” wrote @Jester498. “Glad you wren’t there, actually, we see your colors. We don’t need more of your politician BS around us.”
The mayor’s excuse was a little bit like “my dog ate my homework,” Kramer reported, with a spokesperson saying: “The mayor’s team determined they could not make the event work with his schedule. The event was not brought to his attention and if he had known about the invitation, he would have attended.”
Pundits say de Blasio will pay a political price for the decision, saying that it sends a very bad message, Kramer reported.