LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nearly 500 Long Islanders lost their lives on 9/11.

Since then, monuments and memorials have been created almost yearly — from East Rockaway to the East End — honoring the many victims.

As the 20th anniversary approaches, local communities are coming together once again, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Tuesday.

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Emotions are difficult to contain this week, visiting 9/11 memorials.

“We lost so may people, and no matter when you pass by, and when you read the names, it comes back to that morning,” Kathy Cicerani said.

The Ciceranis of Rockville Centre reflected on the heartbreak their village endured — 49 names.

“Never forget. I lost friends, and we have to keep in mind we have to be vigilant in this country,” Raymond Cicerani said.

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Long Islanders hold pride in the dozens of 9/11 monuments built at firehouses and schools, public buildings and parks.

Oceanside created photos of the 13 local lives lost. Garden City etched 23 names. A memorial in Point Lookout has all of the nearly 3,000 names of those who died on 9/11. Liz Rossi brought her daughter, Stella, who will be studying this history.

“Watch videos about the bandana in school,” Stella Rossi said.

The local monuments offer families a closer alternative for those grieving and unable to travel to ground zero to honor the memories at the 9/11 National Museum.

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Nassau County has a wall of names at Eisenhower Park Lake consisting of 344.

“It’s seared in all our memory and we continue to lose people to 9/11 cancers and 9/11 illnesses,” County Executive Laura Curran said.

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Sept. 11 is the wedding anniversary of Joe and Janine Bradley of Uniondale.

“My babies weren’t even born when this happened. It gives us a lot of learning opportunities to teach them to be reflective and also to be grateful,” Janine Bradley said.

“It’s one of the few times in my lifetime that the country actually pulled together,” Joe Bradley added.

They say we have so much, but yet gave so much in return.

All are invited to Long Island’s largest 9/11 tributes, Thursday in Eisenhower Park and on Saturday in Point Lookout.

Jennifer McLogan