Picture of the families of Flight 587
“Twenty years ago, when the families of the victims of Flight 587 where in deep despair and experiencing a deep dark tunnel, Hostos Community College opened its doors to us and our community. And we are deeply grateful for their support throughout all these years,” Belkis Lora, Flight 587 Family Activities Organizer, said during the ceremony’s culminating moment of reflection.
Dr. Daisy Cocco De Filippis remembers that day well. “Time has shown us that grief is a kind of remembering, something not to be shunned, but embraced,” she said. “A measure of solace can be found in remembering our lost ones — and in cherishing and preserving our memories of them. This is what has brought us together today, twenty long years later: to grieve, to remember, to cherish. My deep gratitude to Assemblymembers Amanda Septimo and Yudelka Tapia and Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Raquel Batista for joining us on this solemn occasion. The poet Octavio Paz once wrote, ‘Unos lloran con lágrimas, otros lloran con pensamientos.’ [Some cry with tears, others cry in thought] Our tears and our thoughts are with all those who died on Flight 587 and with all those who knew and loved them.”
Hostos’ Paralegal and Ethics Coordinator Rafael Torres sang a beautiful rendition of the Latin American symbolic anthem of lost love, the hit song “Amor Eterno,” accompanied on the piano by Hostos Visual and Performing Arts College Laboratory Technician Emmanuel R. Díaz.
Family members attended and stood together as television screens displayed the commemorative ceremonies of the past twenty years. A collective silence filled the glass room, clearly reflective of the living still grieving within.
President Daisy Cocco De Filippis reiterated: “The memorial garden will open again, and hopefully next year we will be commemorating there, because Hostos will never forget.”