Mayor apologizes for oversight at ceremony for attack victims

NEW YORK (AP) — City officials are taking heat for botching a ceremony meant to honor victims of last year's deadly truck attack.

A last-minute invitation to the ceremony make it so one victim's mother couldn't attend, her friend, Hugh Hales-Tooke said. Those who did make it were miffed when officials closed the ceremony without reading the names of the eight dead.

A police officer scrambled to the podium as the small crowd was dispersing, and Mayor Bill de Blasio raced up to apologize and read the names.

"This should have been part of the gathering to read the names of the eight that we lost," de Blasio said. "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."

De Blasio attended the ceremony alongside emergency responders, a small group of family members and friends and the consuls general of Argentina and Belgium.

A wreath of white roses was placed at the site of the attack and a minute-long moment of silence was observed.

Hales-Tooke, upset with how things were handled, refused to shake de Blasio's hand.

"The response from government has been really bad," said Hales-Tooke, a friend of Monica Missio, the mother of victim Nicholas Cleves. "It's been very hurtful for Monica that the response from elected officials has been so poor."