NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It’s been nine long years, and on Saturday, New York looked back on one of the darkest days in United States history.
The traditional 9/11 remembrance ceremony took place just southwest of where the World Trade Center once stood – in Zuccoti Park, where families of the victims gathered, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.
The tolling of the bells marked the moments that shattered the lives of nearly 3,000 victims, starting a ripple effect that’s still being felt to this day.
It was a day of remembrance, a day of names – 2,752 of them.
Police officer Paul Talty, of Queens, was assigned to the Precinct Stationhouse 109, and he lost his life at the World Trade Center. Coming to the place where he perished year after year is his mother, Gloria, who says the passage of time cannot dull the pain.
“You have so many conflicting emotions,” she said. “You’re upset, you’re angry, but you have to be thankful to God you had him.”
Loved ones of those killed traveled to Lower Manhattan to feel the connection, like the family of Brian Joseph Murphy.
“There were no remains found for him. This is his burial site. This is where he was put to rest, in such a tragic way,” said Brian’s sister, Cynthia Murphy. “His death can be a reminder to treasure that you are alive, and make sure you honor those who passed in such a tragic way.”
Dignitaries spoke and remembered a day too horrid to forget, particularly for victims’ families.
“I do think it gives them some solace, and gives them a feeling of connection with those that they lost,” Governor David Paterson said.
The four-hour service was tearful, but hopeful. One theme of this year’s commemoration was “looking ahead.”
At the evening service at Staten Island’s monument to 9/11 victims, Mayor Bloomberg gave his second speech of the day. He said the memorial and museum at ground zero should be finished this time next year.
“You will see construction activity happening everywhere – trucks bearing steel and concrete poured in by the hour – and every day, One World Trade Center reaches higher into the sky,” Bloomberg said.
Lisa Grissler, of Staten Island, said it is important to keep moving forward, but never forget. She had a message for her aunt, Lillian Caceres, a technology administrator at Marsh and McLennan who was on the 96th floor of Tower One.
“We’re here, we love you, we miss you,” she said. “We are doing the best we can to keep your memory alive.’