De Blasio apologizes for bungling memorial for New York City bike-path terror attack victims
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Mayor de Blasio apologized for a botched memorial to terror attack victims — whom he initially forgot to even name — this week, admitting the event had been put together at the last minute.
“It wasn’t handled right, and I apologize to the families,” de Blasio said at an unrelated press conference Thursday.
The Wednesday event was a memorial to the eight people killed after a terrorist in a truck drove down a West Side Highway bike path. But while he praised the resilience of the city and its first responders, the mayor never even read the names of those killed.
“The idea was to try and do something to really show respect for their loved ones and also to remind New Yorkers about how our first responders had handled that day very effectively, in a very moving way, and how New Yorkers had that day did something very honorable by not allowing themselves to be intimidated by terrorists,” de Blasio said.
Instead, de Blasio succeeded only in angering family members — who noted they received little or no notice that a memorial was even being held.
Hizzoner admitted Thursday that the memorial to the attack, the deadliest terror event in the city since 9/11, was not planned until after this weekend’s horrific Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.
“The problem was the event was put together way too late. It was not originally planned,” de Blasio said. “I think the idea really emanated from what happened the week before, because it focused everyone’s attention on the fact that we went through another type of attack, and so there was an effort to try and put together an appropriate memorial, but it wasn’t handled right.”
De Blasio said he wasn’t involved in the planning of the event, but took responsibility as mayor. He was not originally given a list of names, he said, or else “of course I would have read them.”
The mayor reconvened the ceremony to read those names after someone in the audience suggested to him he do so, he said.
“I’m not happy about it. It wasn’t right,” he said. “But the intention was to try and honor those folks.”
The mayor did not answer questions about when family members of those killed were notified about the memorial. Hugh Hales-Tooke, a close friend of Monica Missio, whose son, Nicholas Cleves, was killed in the attack, said the grieving mom got only a day’s notice.
Sayfullo Saipov, 30, was charged with eight counts of murder in aid of racketeering for the truck terror attack.
This article is written by Jillian Jorgensen from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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