Belkis Lora still remembers the last time she saw her brother, José Franciso Lora.
It was just moments before he died.
He was a passenger on Flight 587, and they were together just before the flight’s take-off from John F. Kennedy Airport on Nov. 12th, 2001.
265 people, including 5 on the ground in the Belle Harbor community in Far Rockaway, died when the plane crashed.
“I was the one who took him to the airport,” she said, with tears welling in her eyes. “I hugged him, hoping I would see him in the summer.
90 percent of those on board were of Dominican descent; the flight also included nationals from several other countries, including France and Taiwan.
“This was a devastating tragedy for the Dominican community, and for all New Yorkers,” said Assemblymember Guillermo Linares on the anniversary of the crash, which was marked on Mon., Nov. 12th.
The crash of Flight 587 renewed fears of terrorism, as it came so close after the 9/11 attacks. The loss has seared those left behind.
“He was very smart. He loved to laugh, and he was a great brother,” said Lora of José, who left behind two sons. “We are always going to remember him.”
Lora and other families of the victims have made a yearly pilgrimage to the Belle Harbor, where a memorial service is given at Saint Francis de la Salle Church.
Read more: Revisiting Flight 587 tragedy | Manhattan Times