Tag Archives: Flight 587

Flight 587: Marking 12 years since the tragedy


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Maggie Hayes

Twelve years ago, Flight 587 crashed and took the lives of hundreds. Today, loved ones left behind said the pain never goes away.

“The time passes, but the pain is still there in your heart,” said Anne Espinal, who gathered with others at the flight memorial site on Tuesday.

Espinal lost her mother in the crash. She had just turned 50 three days before.

“It’s like losing your best friend,” Espinal said, holding back tears.

She came together with dozens of others on a snowy day of remembrance, carrying brightly colored flowers and tissues as the names of the 265 victims were read.

On November 12, 2001 Flight 587 took off from John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport and began its trip to the Dominican Republic. It crashed in the Belle Harbor neighborhood shortly after takeoff, and stands as one of the country’s deadliest aviation incidents.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined the crowd of family and friends as they placed flowers near the names of their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends.

“Coming here every year is good support,” Espinal said. “It makes me feel really good. I feel like she’s here now. I know she’s watching me.”

 

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Loved ones mark 11th anniversary of Flight 587 crash


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Flickr/NYC Mayor's Office

As Queens still recovers from Sandy, those who lost loved ones from the Flight 587 crash gathered to mark the 11th anniversary of the tragedy Monday.

On November 12, 2001, the American Airlines flight to the Dominican Republic crashed over Belle Harbor shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing 260 aboard and five on the ground.

The  service, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke, was held at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in the Bronx instead of at the memorial in Rockaway Park, because the area is still damaged from the superstorm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flight 587 ten years later: Holidays without a loved one


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan.

For Angilda Delacruz, 21, without her aunt and godmother Magnolia Pena, the upcoming holidays are the toughest part of the year.

“When we were little, we would always go to her house, and she would always have these baked cakes ready and chocolate lollipops in her fridge. We would always get in trouble for stealing them,” Delacruz said.

“The holidays were her thing. We always knew that out of everybody, we would always get the best presents from her. The first couple of years after this happened, we didn’t really celebrate the holidays because it wasn’t the same,” she said.

Although it took almost a decade, Delacruz said her family has gotten used to the loss, and has started celebrating the holidays again.

“It doesn’t feel like 10 years,” she said. “It feels weird. It feels like time stood still, yet it passed by so fast at the same time.”

The family also just welcomed a new addition, one-month-old Gavin, who would have been Pena’s first grandson.

“Every time that a big moment happens, I think about her not being there. She was the one we all expected to always be around,” she said. “I know that it seems like everybody says this, but she was the best person ever.”

Click here for the full story and photo gallery.

A child remembers the parents she lost on Flight 587


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Melissa Chan

Kiana Jorge was only five years old when she lost both of her parents, Lialette Yesenia Batista Ramirez and Jose Manuel Ramirez, who were passengers on Flight 587.

“It seems like yesterday that I was five. That’s all I remember,” she said.

Now 15, she said her family makes sure their memories live on by constantly showing her pictures and telling her stories about them, including her favorite anecdote about how her parents first met.

She smiled when they said she was “the exact portrait of her mother.”

Kiana and her family were among the hundreds of mourners who attended the memorial service dedicated to honoring the 265 victims who lost their lives when Flight 587 crashed in Belle Harbor 10 years ago to the day.

“Lialette was a beautiful, giving person, always caring for other people. She’s definitely missed,” said family friend Melvin Thomas, who is also Kiana’s godfather. “It’s always hard to lose a loved one. They say time heals, but you never forget. It hurts every day.”

Frailin, the couple’s nephew, said he misses the way his uncle always made him laugh.

“He used to cheer me on and make a lot of jokes around me. He used to pick me up from school and he was always around the house. When I would come home, he would always look at me and say, ‘Get over here!’ Now, it’s like having a burden on your heart,” he said.

Click here for the full story and photo gallery.

Flight 587 remembered 10 years later


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan.

Click here to view our Flight 587 memorial gallery.

Ten years may have passed since the tragic crash of Flight 587, but hundreds of loved ones who gathered to mourn at the memorial site remember as if it was yesterday.

“After 10 years, we still have open wounds from what happened,” said Rafael Almonte, who laid flowers for his brother, Juan Bautista Almonte. “Each day that passes, our wounds open, then close, and open again.”

Family and friends gathered for the 10 year anniversary memorial held in Rockaway Park on Saturday, November 12 to honor the 251 passengers, nine crew members and five people killed on the ground when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in Belle Harbor in 2001.

The plane was en route from John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. According to reports, the disaster is attributed to a pilot error in overusing the rudder in response to wake turbulence.

“Over the past 10 years, you have shared strength that has transformed grief into hope and promise… hope that together we will continue to heal and a promise to remember those we lost and to continue making them proud of us every single day,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“We honor them each day in countless ways and countless personal ways. Today, publicly, as a people, we also thank those who loved them for keeping their memories alive, for raising their children, and for finding the strength to go on with your own lives,” he said.

A moment of silence followed a bell toll at 9:16 a.m. to mark the moment Flight 587 crashed at the corner of 131st Street and Newport Avenue. Family and friends then read off the names of all 265 victims.

“I don’t really have words to explain because it was so hard for our family,” said Yishel Matos of Bay Shore Long Island, who came with her sister, niece and nephew to mourn the loss of her brother Orlando Matos. “It’s like a puzzle and you’re missing a piece. The family, after he died, was never complete. It really changed our life. We miss him.”

Following the ceremony, several family members visited the actual crash site — located 15 blocks away from the memorial — to lay flowers on the small plaque dedicated to the victims.

“But as you know all too well, every day in the wake of a tragedy is a day of remembrance — a time to honor and an occasion for finding strength,” Bloomberg said. “For every day, we also know that the presence of those that we have loved and lost is always with us.”

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan.

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/11/2011: Jury Acquits Assemblyman of Conspiring to Take Bribes


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Jury Acquits Assemblyman of Conspiring to Take Bribes

William F. Boyland Jr., a Democratic assemblyman from one of Brooklyn’s most prominent political families, was acquitted on Thursday of conspiring to take $175,000 in bribes in return for using his influence on behalf of a health care organization that runs hospitals in Queens and Brooklyn. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Barbara Sheehan sentenced to five years in prison

After dodging a murder conviction for the death of her husband, Barbara Sheehan has been reportedly sentenced to five years behind bars on a second degree weapons charge related to the case. Sheehan, who faced up to 15 years in prison prior to her sentencing, was acquitted of murder after a jury determined she acted in self-defense when she shot her husband, Raymond, a retired NYPD sergeant, 11 times on the morning of February 18, 2008. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Queens Councilman Pleads Guilty To Charges Stemming From 1996 Larceny Case

Just two days after winning re-election, a City Councilman pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a 15-year-old larceny case. Queens Councilman Ruben Wills admitted to stealing items and damaging a Manhattan office building in 1996. The case will be closed without jail time or probation if he does three days of community service and pays $2,500 in restitution. Wills said the incident arose from a business dispute. An outstanding warrant was issued for his arrest after he missed court dates. Read More: NY1

 

10th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony for American Airlines Flight 587 on Saturday

Saturday, November 12 American Airlines Flight 587 10th anniversary memorial ceremony

Beach 116th Street, Belle Harbor – 9 a.m.

There will be a moment of silence at 9:16 a.m. at the time of the crash, followed by a reading of the victims’ names. The ceremony will be held at the memorial site, which was unveiled for the fifth anniversary. More Event Details: Queens Courier

 

Stalled Road Construction Keeps Forest Hills Residents From Getting Sleep

Forest Hills residents are complaining they cannot get any sleep because of the noise stemming from cars driving over a work site on 71st Avenue. Read More: NY1

 

City surrenders in long battle to turn historic St. Saviour’s site into Maspeth park

The city has given up its long fight to acquire the land where a historic Maspeth church once stood and turn it into park space. But the city and now looking into purchasing a City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) are smaller parcel of land from the nearby Martin Luther School as an alternative to the St. Saviour’s site. Read More: Daily News

 

Woodside monument honoring World War I heroes gets face-lift for Veterans Day

The majestic statue that stands at the foot of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Woodside was created to honor local soldiers who paid the ultimate price in World War I. The female figure, sword in one hand and shield in the other, stands sentry over the tiny plaza in the neighborhood formerly known as Winfield. Read More: Daily News

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/10/2011:Ex-Queens resident gets 20 years jail term in wife’s death


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Ex-Queens resident gets 20 years jail term in wife’s death

A former Queens resident has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the choking death and dismemberment of his wife, whose parts were stuffed in a suitcase found by teenagers in a park almost a year later. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Tennis might come back to Forest Hills Stadium

A historic Queens stadium might once again serve up tennis. Reports have revealed the latest bid to save the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium is coming from Stadium Arts Alliance, a nonprofit that wants to redesign the site and convert it into a space for tennis, concerts, art shows and possibly minor league hockey. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Salmonella cases in NY linked to chicken livers

Dozens of people in New York have been sickened after eating kosher broiled chicken livers that were not fully cooked. Health officials say the liver contaminated with salmonella was manufactured by Schreiber Processing Corp. under the MealMart brand. They say 89 cases of foodborne illness have been linked to the product, including 56 in New York City and 33 in nine upstate counties. The Queens-based company is recalling the product. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Anti-Gang Forum in Elmhurst

Community leaders in Queens say that gangs are a growing influence on teens, so they got together Wednesday evening to give parents some tactical support to help their children. City Councilmember Julissa Ferraras, who organized the meeting, said that gang problem is getting worse and that they are recruiting in middle school and even in elementary schools. Read More: Fox News

 

Queens Residents Discuss Memories Of Flight 587 Crash Ahead Of 10th Anniversary

It may not look like it at first glance, but Queens’ Belle Harbor is where American Airlines Flight 587 went down. The only recognition is a small plaque that marks the spot, but the memory is still vivid for some. Read More: NY1