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Bound By Loss, Heartbroken Family Members Gather To Reflect On Crown Heights Riots

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's been 25 years since Australian student Yankel Rosenbaum was stabbed to death during the 1991, Crown Heights riots -- the worst race riots the city has ever seen.

Yankel's brother Norman Rosenbaum met with Carmel Cato -- the father of Gavin Cato who was killed by a Jewish driver -- to commemorate the loss of their loved ones.

The last time they met was at the 20th commemoration.

The community has planned a festival this week to commemorate the events and to push the idea of unity.

Norman has said that he finds the idea of a weeklong festival inappropriate.

As 1010 WINS' Holli Haerr reported, the pair sat at a table at Essen NY Deli as any long time friends would, but their friendship is one that started in tragedy.

"He lost his brother, I lost my son," Cato said.

Gavin was killed by a Jewish driver, and hours later Norman's brother was murdered at the start of the riots.

"You never compare tragedies and losses of life, but when you experience a loss of this magnitude there's a bond that is created," Rosenbaum said.

Both said their friendship is important not only to them, but as an example to others.

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