NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the families of those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks, remembering the fallen isn’t a once a year event. It’s every day.
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reports, Kerri Kiefer-Viverito lost her brother. At the Viverito home, there’s a tribute of flags in red, white and blue to the fallen heroes of 9/11.READ MORE: Families Of 9/11 Victims Join Calls To Build Memorial At Florida Condo Collapse Site
“My brother’s flag is the one with the yellow ribbon,” Kiefer-Viverito said.
Her brother is Michael Kiefer, just 25 when he ran into the south tower and never came out.
“The pain of losing him is hard,” Kiefer-Viverito said. “And it’s real… But I’m blessed and honored. He is a hero, not just to me, but to everyone.”
Kiefer’s family is just one among the thousands who are now marking two decades since one of the most wrenching moments in American history.
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“Twenty years, one year, 10 years, it’s all still as raw as that day. We never recovered my brother, so the pain is still raw,” Kiefer-Viverito said. “Twenty years is just another day to us.”
“For the victims and the victims’ families, it’s an anniversary every day,” said Ashley Bisman.
Bisman lost her father Jeffrey Goldflam, the CFO of Cantor Fitzgerald, when she was just 16.READ MORE: Tunnel to Towers Weekend Kicks Off With Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert At Liberty Park
“Its been 20 years since I hugged my dad. Twenty years since he’s given me a kiss,” she said. “That’s something I’ll never have again. And to think the last time I had it was 20 years ago is horrific.”
This year, family members are once again gathering at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza for a ritual of love and loss: The reading of the names.
There are six moments of silence acknowledging when the towers were struck and fell, the time of the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93.
“I can’t believe it’s 20 years later now,” said former firefighter and 9/11 survivor Tim Brown.
Brown says on that day, the U.S. faced evil head on, but wrote a new chapter in American fortitude.
“We met it with great love and great courage and great bravery, and we saw the greatest of humanity,” Brown said.
A new generation will only remember 9/11 as history. Bisman decided to write some of that history, sharing in a book how she navigated life after losing her father as a teenager.
“I think every day is bittersweet, because I am so lucky to have a beautiful life with a husband and children and we built a great home together. But it will always be missing my dad, my husband missing his father-in-law and my children missing their grandpa,” she said.
For those who have lost, there is not just a burden to carry, but a message to send. Kiefer-Viverito will keep her patriotic display waving in the wind, so the youngest won’t forget and will forever honor what they did that day.MORE NEWS: 20 Years After: The Transformation Of Ground Zero
“Just to be able to say FDNY firefighter Michael Kiefer is my brother is such an honor,” she said.