JERSEY CITY (CBSNewYork) — Smaller gatherings are taking place outside lower Manhattan to remember the 9/11 attacks.

In New Jersey, family members will mark the 15th anniversary at the state’s official memorial, called “Empty Sky.”

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There are 749 names etched into the wall, representing the New Jersey residents killed on 9/11, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported. Sunday morning, the park became a a reunion for families in mourning, as families and friends searched for the names of their loved ones.

Mourners also boarded a ferry to Lower Manhattan, a gesture symbolic of the hardship New Jersey residents faced on that tragic day.

“The Holland Tunnel was closed, the Lincoln Tunnel was closed — everything was closed right after the attacks at Ground Zero,” John Holl, former Asst. Attorney General said. The New Jersey families could not get across.”


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“Port Authority cops went in, and out of the towers numerous times, and there’s pictures where they saved people’s lives and that’s a memory that lasts a lifetime as it is,” one New Jersey resident told Doris.

The Empty Sky memorial will be filled this afternoon for a service at 3 p.m.

On Long Island, hundreds of families packed a sunrise memorial service, where they found out their yearly trek will soon have a permanent place, TV 10/55’s Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported.

It featured a new monument that shows a reverse shadow box of the Twin Towers, accompanied by a 35-foot-long mural.

Under grey skies, the ceremony ended with a ray of hope as the town of Hempstead unveiled their rendering of a permanent memorial to be built by next year’s anniversary.

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When the permanent memorial is opened next year, it will also include the names of the first responders who died from illnesses from working on the pile.