LOWER MANHATTAN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It was a day of pride at a place of reverence for service members in the city for Fleet Week.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, a special ceremony was held at the Sept. 11 Memorial on Friday.

Standing alongside the foot print of the South Tower, a group of sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard members received their promotions.

Zachary Dryden is now a Navy lieutenant junior grade.

“It’s really a signal that I’m ready to take on more responsibility,” he said.

Dryden added that having the ceremony at the Sept. 11 Memorial was very meaningful.

“Being here to remember those that sort of led me to this point I think it was a very special moment for us.”

Admiral Scott Stearney agreed, saying “This is such a sacred grounds.”

Stearney told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria having the ceremony at the memorial was very powerful.

“Really helps to solidify our understanding of why we serve, why we continue to wear the cloth of our nation, why we’ve protected this country, this city for the last 13 and a half years,” he said.

Stearney was stationed on an aircraft carrier off of Brooklyn in the days following the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

One of those who was promoted was Lt. Daniel Zalazar, of the Marines. His hometown is Brewster, N.Y.

“Having memories — being a native New Yorker — of what that day was like, so to be back here 13 years later in the uniform is very humbling.”

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