The one-year anniversary of the Champlain Towers South condominium collapse was recognized by First Lady Jill Biden and members of the community affected by the disaster, which claimed the lives of 98 individuals.
As part of the Surfside Remembrance Event, Vice President Joe Biden visited the stage Friday to recognize those affected by the June 24 2021 collapse and those who stepped up to aid.
“We stand with you now and always,” the First Lady told NBC station WPTV on behalf of her husband, Vice President Biden, “whose heart and prayers have never left this town.”
Later on, she continued, “Our burdens have grown greater, and whether it’s been a year or many years, our knees still bow from time to time under the weight of our loss. Even yet, there have been moments of mercy… We’ve come to terms with the fact that we’re not the only ones experiencing this.”
On behalf of the Surfside community, Vice President Biden thanked the firemen and first responders who “spent weeks laboring to recover” the victims of the early morning tragedy, as well as “the citizens of Surfside who came together to embrace.”
President Obama also thanked those “who gave and shared goodwill” when the disaster broke.
It’s a fellowship “you never wanted to be a part of but take strength from just the same,” Vice President Joe Biden said. “We recognize the light that you found in each other.”
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“Love is the only thing that can help us bear the weight of this sadness forward,” she said.
It was also mentioned that the impacts of the 2021 collapse “will endure a lifetime” by Surfside Mayor Shlomo Danzinger.
No one felt the loss like you did, Danzinger told the victims’ and survivors’ families. “That night, a piece of your heart was ripped out, leaving a gaping wound that will never be replaced.”
At Friday’s ceremony, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis praised the fortitude of the community, which he said “speaks a lot about this town in Surfside” and Florida.
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There were “families who were wondering what had happened to their loved ones, other families who had been displaced and you had folks come forward,” he added.
Survivors and loved ones of those killed or injured in the Champlain Towers South condominium building collapse were paid almost $1 billion in a May settlement.
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