HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Hundreds gathered Tuesday morning for prayer and reflection on the beach at Point Lookout on Long Island to mark the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Many of those who attended the ceremony wrote messages and names of 9/11 victims on a 35-foot panorama of the New York City skyline. Others cast white carnations into a reflecting pool located at the base of a 30-foot piece of World Trade Center steel.

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WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

“We lost our really great friend Kim,” Diane from Floral Park told WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall. “And I was in the second tower on 9/11. I come every year to celebrate Kim and to thank God for me being here.”

Susan Silwak of Wantagh said she and her children usually attend the commemoration ceremony at ground zero where her husband, Robert Silwak, lost his life in the north tower with his Cantor Fitzgerald colleagues.

But knowing his love of the beach, Silwak decided Point Lookout was the perfect place for solace this year.

“All of the memories and images and tears and sadness, all comes back — becomes raw all over again,” she told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan. “And there’s comfort. He and I used to come to the beach all the time.”

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Silwak’s children, 14-year-old twins Kyle and Nikki, penned their dad’s name onto miniature American flags and wrote messages to him on the panorama.

“Just saying rest in peace, watching over us at all times,” said Kyle.

“He’s always in our heart wherever we go,” said Nikki. “He’s always watching over us.”

Many of the people paying their respects at the ceremony included prayers for service men and women overseas.

Levittown Fire Commissioner John Rottkamp remembered Fire Chief Ronald Cohen, who also was an FDNY lieutenant. Rottkamp said Cohen was a great family man and a great fireman — and he considers that the highest kind of honor.

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