Loved ones gathered under umbrellas and held flowers on Beach 116th Street at the Flight 587 Memorial Wall, CBS2’s Thalia Perez reported.READ MORE: Stephen Sondheim, Legend Of The Broadway Musical, Dead At 91
The plane, bound for the Dominican Republic, crashed moments after taking off from Kennedy Airport on November 12, 2001, killing all 260 people on board and five people on the ground.
It is one of the deadliest plane crashes in U.S. history. The debris covered blocks. Cars, homes and trees were set ablaze. A charred engine showed the magnitude of the tragedy.
Federal investigators determined it was caused by the co-pilot’s overuse of rudder controls in response to turbulence from an aircraft in front of the plane.
“That pain does not go away. But we still, even in the midst of pain, appreciate all of the people who came in that moment to try to help, the first responders, the people from the neighborhood, who tried to help,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.READ MORE: Gov. Hochul: No Known Cases Of New COVID Variant 'Omicron' In New York
There was a moment of silence at 9:17 a.m. to mark when the plane crashed 20 years ago. The names of the victims were read out loud.
“After 20 years, it doesn’t matter the wind, the rain. You’re here to show that love, and I honor you for that,” de Blasio said.
The crash was even more painful for those in the Dominican community since 90% of the passengers were of Dominican descent.
Cid Wilson lost his friend Feliz Sanchez and said he remembers the day of the crash like it was yesterday. Wilson shared a photo of one of the last times they were together.
“While me miss him very much, we know that his spirit has helped us to keep that promise to our Dominican community to succeed and also to give back,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he and Sanchez worked together on Wall Street. He said he tries to live by example so the memories of his friend and the other victims are not forgotten.MORE NEWS: Police: Young Firefighter Dies In Fire In His Own Westchester County Home
CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report.