Nearly 10 years ago, a horrific airplane crash in Belle Harbor, Queens, ended the lives of 265 people, most of them of Dominican descent.
The fatal fall of the Santo Domingo-bound American Airlines Flight 587 – the second deadliest aviation accident in US history – struck New Yorkers in all corners of the city.
Occurring shortly after the 9/11 attacks, we first suspected that the crash was a continuation of the terrorism nightmare that began 60 days earlier. It turned out to be a mechanical problem, according to a federal investigation.
In the aftermath of the accident, questions emerged over what caused the crash, how to remember the victims and help their survivors.
Families are still dealing with the pain of losing sons and daughters and mothers and fathers. Many Dominicans lost several family members at once.
As we approach the 10th anniversary of the crash, however, efforts to remember the tragedy seem largely absent from media, despite the fact that the community most affected is more than 600,00 strong.
The accident should be remembered as an significant chapter in New York City history. The 251 passengers, nine crew members, and five Belle Harbor residents that lost their lives in the crash deserve that.