A vigil was held Saturday to honor the memory of 7-year-old Sama Ali, who was killed by an armored truck while crossing the intersection of Bath Avenue and Bay 23rd Street on Sept. 28.
The vigil took place at the Benson Playground, near the spot where Ali died. It was attended by her family, local elected officials and members of Families for Safe Streets and the Muslim American Society Youth Center.
Taher Abdelhadi, director of the youth center, spoke on behalf of the Ali family, who were grateful for the community’s support.
“They say thank you to the entire community,” said Abdelhadi. “Everyone has shown up and been that support and foundation to stand on during this difficult time. We have a lot of differences, whether it’s religion, ethnicities, political views, but at a difficult time like this is when everyone’s true humanity and love for one another shows up.”
State Senator Andrew Gounardes spoke about the recent surge in pedestrian deaths on local streets and offered words of comfort to the Ali family.
“We all too frequently lose our families on our streets here in New York City,” he said. “[But] even when we feel insufferable pain, against our will comes wisdom through the awesome grace of God because we have faith, we believe and we know that it takes time to heal the pain.”
Councilmember Justin Brannan said it’s important for neighborhoods to show unity during difficult times.
“Times like these, during unspeakable grief, we all come together and put everything aside,” Brannan said. “We wish we didn’t have to come together like this but we do.”