New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio spoke at a memorial on Wednesday for victims of the “bike-path terrorist,” who killed eight and injured dozens one year ago.
De Blasio spoke before the grieving loved ones, and thanked the politicians who attended the memorial, the first responders who helped the victims, and the people who didn’t let the attack keep them from marching in a Halloween parade.
Notice anyone missing from that list?
De Blasio left the stage after laying a wreath for the victims with NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, and began shaking hands with mourners. After a moment, he quickly returned to the podium when a mourner told him who he forgot.
“I apologize. This should have been part of the gathering to read the names of the eight that we lost,” De Blasio said, according to the New York Post. “So I want to right that wrong with apologies and do that now and ask everyone to bow their heads as we remember each of them.”
After the apology, De Blasio read the name of the victims who died after the “bike-path terrorist” allegedly ran down cyclists and runners with a rented truck.
Diego Enrique Angelini, Nicholas Cleves, Ann-Laure Decadt, Darren Drake, Ariel Erlij, Hernan Ferruchi, Hernan Diego Mendoza, and Alejandro Damian Pagrucco all died in the attack.
De Blasio bowed his head.
This wasn’t the only misstep for the memorial, according to the Post. The mother of Nicholas Cleves, Monica Missio, wasn’t told about the ceremony until the evening before, and was not able to attend because she was in Boston.
“It is so traumatic for her to be in the city today that she is in the Boston area and wasn’t told about this memorial service until 4 p.m. yesterday,” Hugh Hales-Tooke, a friend of Missio, told The Post. “She’s very hurt. She was very hurt.”
Hales-Tooke refused to shake De Blasio’s hand over the treatment of his friend. He also criticized the mayor for his “boilerplate” address, according to the Post.
“I didn’t hear a thing about the lives, the people. Nicholas Cleves was born and bred in New York. He loved this city. His mother’s destroyed by this,” he said.
He added: “I thought that was what this was about, that this is a moment where we would say . . . ‘You know, we care, we really do care,’ but I didn’t get the feeling. [The mayor] said this attack has been in our hearts for a year . . . Really? Do you believe that?”
A spokesman for City Hall told the Post that De Blasio didn’t read the names because it wasn’t on the program for the event.
“The program didn’t originally include a reading of the names. When the families raised the issue, he agreed and read the names,” said spokesman Eric Phillips.
Phillips then claimed the event was put together “very recently,” which is why Missio wasn’t invited in time.
“While the event came together very recently, they should have been invited earlier,” Phillips said.