New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) used a rather unique excuse to explain why he missed a ceremonial moment of silence on Wednesday morning marking the thirteenth anniversary of the crash of Flight 587.
“I had a very rough night, I woke up sluggish and I should have gotten myself moving quicker,” de Blasio said at a press conference later in the day, according to New York Times City Hall bureau chief Michael Grynbaum.
De Blasio went on to elaborate about his tough evening.
“I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep,” he said.
De Blasio’s office initially released a statement attributing his late arrival at the event to “heavy fog.”
“Mayor de Blasio traveled to the ceremony by boat this morning and the boat was delayed due to heavy fog,” the statement said.
At the press conference where he explained his lateness, de Blasio reportedly said both the fog and his sluggishness were to blame.
According to multiple media outlets present at the memorial event, de Blasio’s absence as a bell was tolled to commemorate the victims infuriated those who lost family members in the crash, which left over 250 people dead.
The Daily News reported a man in the audience stood up and demanded the ceremony begin without the mayor to avoid missing the moment the crash occurred.
“Since he’s not here, we should start reading the names [of the dead]. This is a disgrace,” the man said.
Miriam Estrella, 21, who lost five family members on the 2001 flight from JFK to the Dominican Republic, told the New York Post she thought the mayor “treated us like garbage.”
“It’s not fair to us, because had it been 9/11 they would have been there on time. At the time they tolled the bell, he would have been there,” Estrella said.
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