Many mourners wept as names of the 229 victims were read one by one during a memorial service for those who died aboard Swissair Flight 111.
Political leaders, rescue workers and hundreds of residents joined grieving family members for the service, held Wednesday at a school sports field in Indian Harbour, one of the towns near the North Atlantic site where the plane crashed Sept. 2.In attendance were Canadian Minister Jean Chretien, Swiss President Flavio Cotti and U.S. Ambassador Gordon Giffin. More than 130 Americans died in the crash.
Among the speakers was the Rev. Richard Walsh, an Anglican pastor whose parish includes Peggy's Cove, the tiny fishing village close to the crash site that now is base for a search and recovery operation.
"To the families, your loved ones are spiritually part of our community," Walsh said. "We will never forget them, we will always remember."
Claire Mortimer, whose father, John Mortimer, was killed in the crash, thanked the local community on behalf of victims' families.
"Your grace, and your generosity, and your compassion mean so much to us," she said. "Your outpouring of help will never be forgotten."
Offshore from Peggy's Cove, search operations were slowed Wednesday by rough seas, but authorities expressed hope that divers would soon be back on the ocean floor seeking the plane's cockpit voice recorder and pieces of the fuselage.
In New York, a $50 million lawsuit over the crash was filed Wednesday by former boxing champion Jake LaMotta, whose son, Joseph, was among those killed. The suit alleges that the crash was caused by technical defects in the aircraft.