NEW YORK (CBS 2) — New Yorkers gathered at Zuccotti Park  Saturday, once again, to honor the innocents murdered on September 11.

Ground Zero (credit: WCBS 880)

READ MORE: 2 Dozen Members Of Military Begin Serving As Pandemic Reinforcements At Newark's University Hospital

The attacks came on a crystal-clear day in New York, and before it was over, four commercial jetliners had crashed in three states, after being commandeered by 19 Islamic terrorists. The worst attacks were at the Twin Towers, but deaths at the Pentagon near Washington and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where a jet was forced down, brought the death toll to nearly 3,000.

“We lost tons of guys. We lost tons of guys,” one firefighter said.

It was a tragedy of numbers.  The investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald lost658 employees.  The FDNY lost 343.  The Port Authority Police lost 37.  The NYPD lost 23, and eight paramedics.

“Everything was totally black. We were just walking, trying to find daylight,” one man remembered.

Ceremony (Part 1)

Ceremony (Part 2)

Ceremony (Part 3)

Ceremony (Part 4)

Ceremony (Part 5)

READ MORE: Police: Another Dog Killed In Bear Attack In Sparta, N.J.

“Everything was totally black. We were just walking, trying to find daylight,” one man remembered.

The numbers had names and faces, whose families organized, demanding to know why it happened and why some of the remains went to a landfill, while others wondered if loved ones’ remains would ever be found.

Nine years later, the pain was not over.  The early stages of rebuilding skyscrapers on the site, together with a memorial, which we recently toured, give hope to the plan that a symbol of strength will rise again.

With little rising above ground level and $7 billion spent, progress of the site was addressed by public officials earlier this week.

“I’m happy to confirm that we are on track to open the memorial in time for next year’s tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

The attacks launched a war in Afghanistan and war in Iraq, whose casualties added to the pain.  Americans came together and grew divided over a tragedy that cut at the heart of the nation.

Schedule Of Events:

  • 8:40am: The ceremony program begins.  It will include the reading of the names of all of the victims.
  • 8:46am: The first of four moments of silence, observing the time first plane struck the North Tower.
  • 9:03am:  A pause to observe the time the second plane struck the South Tower.
  • 9:59am: The observance of the time of the fall of the South Tower.
  • 10:28am: Final moment of silence observing the time the North Tower fell.
MORE NEWS: Caught On Video: Man Pushes 72-Year-Old Woman Into Newsstand