Follow us here for the latest updates from 9/11 ceremonies on Long Island and in New York City. For a list of events happening on Long Island, click here, and email your photos showing how you are marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to email@example.com.
6:38 p.m. -- Child's LEGO set honors dad
Manuel J. DaMota III awoke early Sunday and went to his LEGO set.
Out of red and white LEGOS, DaMota built a model of the World Trade Center towers, with small yellow pieces representing people.
Inside, on the top floor, he placed a single yellow LEGO piece. It represented his father, Manuel J. DaMota, who was in the trade center for a meeting and died in the attack. His wife, Barbara, was pregnant with Manuel at the time.
“I never got to see the World Trade Center, not even my dad,” said Manuel, 9, from Valley Stream.
And so, knowing this was the 10th anniversary of the attack, Manuel built the LEGO towers and took them to Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury, where his father is buried.
6:14 p.m. -- Valley Stream couple celebrates life
Maria Diaz of Valley Stream watched the twin towers fall from three blocks away. Her husband worked in one of them. The couple, both 40, now use Sept. 11 to celebrate their lives after surviving the attacks and for honoring those killed. They were among more than 1,000 people gathered at Sunday’s ceremony in the Memorial Garden of A.J. Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream.
“I am here to support those that lost their loved ones in my community Valley Stream and elsewhere,” said Maria Diaz.
6:10 p.m. -- Rabbi brings Jewish WTC symbol to service
Michael Stanger, a rabbi at Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation, went to a large interfaith service in Roslyn carrying what he called one of the few known Jewish symbols forged from World Trade Center wreckage. The blackened, rusted piece of steel, shaped like the Star of David, was smaller than the tray of cookies on the table behind him. But the rabbi hoped it would be a powerful reminder of unity during a program that included discussions by area Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders at Temple Sinai of Roslyn.
“There were a lot of crosses, but this is unique,” Stanger said, noting that the steel was provided by a congregation member whose husband was a first responder working after the attack. “It shows that we can recreate.”
Organizers of the interfaith remembrance created eight discussion groups for the wide range of religious leaders gathered and encouraged the several hundred attendees to go to a session from a faith that wasn’t their own.
Maybe that’s why, as the talks were set to begin, the room reserved for the Islamic Center of Long Island and Muslim Society of East Meadow had by far the largest crowd, to the point where people sat on tables and a piano as organizers scrambled to find more chairs.
— PAUL LAROCCO
5:46 p.m. -- Emotions still raw at Babylon memorial
Ten years later, the emotions are still raw. Despite a cool breeze and graying skies, people lingered yesterday along the walkway of Babylon Town’s Sept. 11 memorial, located on a sandy stretch between Overlook and Cedar Beaches, after the town’s ceremony marking the 10th anniversary.
They cried, hugged or simply stood silently, as they gazed at the black granite plaques memorializing the 48 people from Babylon who died that day. Few wanted to talk.
James Flynn of Smithtown lifted his children, Hayley, 9, and Logan, 6, so they could touch the seven-ton piece of World Trade Center steel at the new 9/11 memorial in St. James.
Then James Flynn choked up, unable to speak as he recalled city firefighter Carl Bedigian, who had lived near his office in College Point, Queens. Bedigian, 35, left his home after learning of the attack on the twin towers, Flynn said.
“He was off-duty that day. He went in to save people there and he never came back,” Flynn said. “That’s a real New York City firefighter.”
5:09 p.m. -- Sisters remember father at Point Lookout
The Hempstead Town 9/11 memorial couldn’t have been located at a better place for the family of William V. Steckman. Just after sunrise, Donna Steckman and her family went out to the anniversary ceremony at the memorial in Point Lookout to remember and celebrate the life of her father.
William Steckman, 56, of West Hempstead, was a transmitter engineer for NBC for 35 years. He was working on the 104th floor at One World Trade Center 10 years ago. Steckman and her sisters, Deanine Nagengast, 41, of Seaford and Diana DeVito, 34, of Merrick, joined more than 3,000 people at the memorial.
-- AISHA AL-MUSLIM
Read full story
4:15 p.m. – ‘A sad day, but they’re all tough’
Audrey King reared her children on Long Island and in Queens before she and her husband moved to Florida in 1998. They were visiting the city on Sept. 11, 2001, when son Robert King Jr., 36, an FDNY firefighter, died at the World Trade Center.
"It was horrible. We watched it on TV," she said in a quiet voice as she and family prepared to enter the cordoned area for Sunday's 10th anniversary commemorative ceremony at Ground Zero. It's a sad day -- but they're all tough," she said.
-- SARAH CRICHTON
Neighbors gathered Sunday on Great Oaks Road in East Hills to remember friends, and some even managed a smile on a sunny morning eerily similar to the same day one decade earlier. A uniformed firefighter whispered to a group of locals, “Except for the clouds, the day was exactly the same,” as he looked up at the tree tops.
About 50 residents were on hand for the renaming of Arlene Park, after Arlene Fried, who was well-known for her work on the village’s building committee. She, along with 16 other village residents, were killed in the 9/11 attacks.
Plainview service honors dead, celebrates life
Two Plainview firefighters in full dress uniform waited quietly outside the Mid Island Y Jewish Community Center this morning to join more than 250 people in remembering those who died, survived and rescued on Sept. 11, 2001.
Gerard Petti, 55, and Bill Mlotok, 55, were at Ground Zero just days after the terrorist attacks digging for potential survivors.
“It’s bittersweet for us to be here because we were trying to save lives but we know that so many people died,” Mlotok said as he opened a 10-year-old picture on his Blackberry of his six-man crew in the rubble of the World Trade Center.
The Mid Island Y JCC held a memorial service for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 that included a performance by a children’s choir, prayers and survivor stories.
“This is the first time we’ve held something of this magnitude for 9/11,” said Alyssa Friedman, director of family and adult services at Mid Island Y JCC. “Sept. 11 affected all of us and we wanted to be able to come together as a community.”
Eastport school honors grad
There were five children in the Scharf family until Sept. 11, 2001.
On that day, the Manorville family lost John, 29, an electrical engineer working in the South Tower.
It was the second time he'd ever been to the World Trade Center. The job he was doing had been scheduled for Sept. 10, but he was missing a part and so returned to finish the job the next day.
At Eastport-South Manor Junior Senior High School, hundreds came to see the unveiling of a 9/11 memorial and to hear John Scharf's story, as read from a speech prepared by the Scharf family, which was attending the memorial in New York City and couldn't be at the school.
Chris Marzuk, district assistant superintendent, said the memorial is a singular steel I-beam from the World Trade Center. On a clear day, like today and this day 10 years ago, the sun reflects the beams shadow on the wall behind it, creating an image of twin towers.
"This is a memorial for the community, not just this school," Marzuk said to applause from the crowd.
2:47 p.m. -- Bound by tragedy
Carole Leavey never met FDNY battalion Chief Orio Palmer of Valley Stream. But she said it was her husband, Lt. Joseph Leavey, who became bound forever in tragedy with Palmer, who got as high as the 78th floor of the south tower before its collapse.
“He and Orio Palmer were together trying to bring people down," said Leavey, who lives in Pelham, N.Y.
Both Palmer, 45, and her husband, who worked at Ladder Co. 15 in Manhattan, apparently made it by elevator to around the 40th floor of the tower and then took the stairs further up, Leavey said.
Palmer, a long-distance runner in full firefighting gear, made it to the 78th floor while Leavey, 45, is believed to have been one or two floors below in the emergency stairwell.
"They were the only people who figured out the [radio] frequency," said Leavey's stepdaughter, Kerri, of California, who didn't want to give her last name.
Palmer directed people into the stairwell where Leavey was waiting, she said.
Leavey's last words caught on tapes of the radio calls were that he was trapped inside the stairwell and the walls were compromised, his wife remembered.
"It is very important that we be here," said Carole Leavey, about the commemoration at Ground Zero. "We feel we have to honor all the people who died on that day.
"A lot has happened on this ground," said Leavey, after taking a moment to compose herself. "This is a place he loved."
Honoring a son-in-law
Sheila Smith of Brooklyn stood at the Sept. 11 ceremony holding a large color photo of her son-in-law, firefighter Leon Smith.
A member of Ladder 118 in Brooklyn, Leon Smith, 48, was working to get people out of the Marriott Hotel when the south tower collapsed, killing him. Visits to the World Trade Center site have become a ritual of family support for Sheila Smith.
"I come every year to support [his] mother [Irene] Smith. She is reading names today and we came to give our support to her," said Sheila Smith.
As Sheila Smith spoke, the bell tolled at 10:28 a.m. signifying the collapse of the north tower. She clasped Leon's photo tightly. The new memorial plaza was going to be the next stop for the family after Leon's name was read, Sheila Smith said. She had an old prayer card she planned to leave on the area above the waterfall where Leon's name was etched along with the thousands of other who died in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Of Leon's wife, Sheila Smith said she had moved on, was living out of state and wasn't at the ceremony.
2:30 p.m. -- Victims’ family members gather at Westbury cemetery
No speeches or toasts were planned at the Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury, but the crowds came throughout the day nonetheless to a triangle of cemetery land where more than 70 gravestones for Catholic victims of the terror attacks stand.
Children, parents, aunts, co-workers and loved ones of firefighters, contractors, investment bankers who died on Sept. 11, 2001, planted flowers, cleaned graves and talked about their loss.
Christine Grecco of Hicksville brought flowers for her nephew, Adam Rand, 30, a New York City firefighter killed in the attacks along with many of his colleagues.
“There are so many that we know here. We come to see them also,” she said. “I think of the tragedy of the whole thing — all the firefighters and people — I think it makes it harder.”
Rand’s mother, MaryAnn Rand of Bellmore, said she wouldn’t watch television Sunday or pay attention to any Sept. 11-related reports. And she will not visit Ground Zero, choosing instead to reflect on the events a decade ago and honor her son quietly, in the Holy Rood Cemetery.
“He never ever left the house without telling his father and I ‘I love you,’” Rand said. — EMILY C. DOOLEY
2:15 p.m. -- Egan: Goodness cannot be repeated enough
Cardinal Edward Egan addressed those who filled the sanctuary at St. Peter's Church at Sunday afternoon's Mass, reflecting on the terrible day of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks 10 years ago.
"Evil had its moment of triumph in lower Manhattan," Egan said.
The anniversary "thrusts us back to a day of infamy such as we have never imagined," he said.
Egan described the heroes of the day -- doctors who refused to leave their posts, despite personal suffering; firefighters who rushed into the towers, only to meet their demise; police officers who choked on toxic dust as they guided their charges to safety -- as having strength of character and bravery that set an example for the world.
"From the crime of Sept. 11, 2001, we have learned a powerful lesson," the cardinal said. "When truly challenged, the best of us forget ourselves and become men and women for others." The evil purpose was accomplished, Egan said.
"Nonetheless," he said, "their evil begot a lesson in goodness that cannot be repeated enough."
-- JENNIFER BARRIOS
The Amityville American Legion Highland Pipe Band performed at three 9/11 anniversary events Sunday.
Joe Heimbauer and B.A. Schoen, members of the band, said at the Town of Babylon memorial that they were struck by the large turnouts at events in Bellport, Baldwin and Babylon.
“It's pretty overwhelming,” Schoen said.
— SANDRA PEDDIE
2:15 p.m.: The 'angel' of Maspeth
Joanne Bascetta wanted to do something, anything, to help firefighters in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. She was drawn to FDNY’s Squad 288 and Hazmat Co. 1 in Maspeth, Queens, which suffered the greatest loss of any firehouse, with 19 men killed.
She vaguely knew one of the fallen, Joseph Hunter, whose brother was her father’s social worker, and that was connection enough for her.
Bascetta, 49, who worked in insurance, began bringing meals, flowers and candles to the firefighters, visiting so often that she came to be known as their "angel," said Capt. Vincent Ungaro, a lieutenant in Maspeth at the time.
"A lot of things go on behind the scenes that people don't get recognized for -- that was Joanne," said Ungaro, 55, of Holbrook, now with Engine 235 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
The pair, who has remained friends in the decade since 9/11, were among the firefighters, their families and first-responders attending a memorial service Sunday in Maspeth. Bascetta, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, brought flowers for the firefighters.
"They miss their friends. That will never, ever end," said Bascetta, who has a tattoo on her shoulder that reads "Gone but not forgotten. Never forget 11."
It seems her friendship with Ungaro will also endure, especially important since he was diagnosed in January with leukemia, an illness he links to time he spent at Ground Zero after the attacks.
Sept. 11, 2001 and the cleanup effort "seem like yesterday," he said. "Nine months, day in and day out. We gave up a lot, but we'd do it again."
-- Emily Ngo
2 p.m. -- Visitors, vendor peruse near Ground Zero
"Which way is the World Trade Center?" Anthony Villarreal asked as he and his friend crossed Canal Street heading south on Warren Street.
Villarreal, 43, a forklift operator, and Bill Patterson, 41, a leasing consultant, drove 12 hours from Chicago to be at the World Trade Center on the 10th anniversary.
Neither has a personal connection to anyone who was lost there, but each felt a strong need to pay his respects.
"Today we're all New Yorkers," Patterson said. The mood of the city "seems melancholy," he said. As they came closer to the trade center site, nearing where police had set up barricades and scores of people had gathered, Villarreal said he was "excited, but sad."
"My heart's beating faster," Villarreal said. The two picked up American flags from a vendor who was selling photographs of the pre-Sept. 11 skyline, when the Twin Towers still stood.
"I didn't know what to expect," Patterson said. "But I feel I have to be here."
"It's going, little by little," vendor Saibo Daiby said as he walked along Broadway with a handful of American flags and a photo book about Sept. 11 and its aftermath.
Daiby was about a block from the memorial plaza, where thousands were gathered for the 10th anniversary ceremony, listening as the names of victims of the terrorist attacks were read aloud.
He said he normally sells flags for $2, but after only selling three he cut the price in half. The photo books go for $5; he had only sold one by noon. Daiby said the only hassles he had had were from police, but that he has a vendor's license and was OK.
A man walking down the street with a house cat on his head drew more attention and photos from the throngs of passersby.
-- TED PHILLIPS
1:53 p.m. – St. James memorial a community effort
St. James’ new 9/11 memorial was a community-wide effort, said Tom Donohue, a local volunteer firefighter who spearheaded the project.
The St. James Fire Department donated land at its firehouse on Woodlawn Avenue for the park, which features a 9-foot-tall steel bow-tie beam recovered from the World Trade Center, while residents raised money. Two girls donated $200 from their lemonade stand, Donohue said.
More than 500 people attended the dedication ceremony Sunday afternoon.
— CARL MACGOWAN
For Robert Prucha of Sayville, not a single day goes by that he doesn’t think of his friends Raymond Meisenheimer of West Babylon and Kevin Smith of Bethpage, who were both killed during the 9/11 attacks.
Prucha, one of the hundreds of attendees Sunday at the Bohemia Fire Department 9/11 Memorial, took some time to reflect.
Through teary eyes, he described the tremendous loss he felt.
“Kevin and Raymond were the best. I knew them for about 35 years. I will never forget them.
"Raymond and Kevin were members of the East Farmingdale Fire Department. They were the initial rescue crew dealing with the Hazmat heavy rescue with the New York Fire Department. They both had wives; Raymond had two daughters and Kevin had seven children.”
1:18 p.m. -- No longer helpless
Sept. 11 turned Carl Peyser into a firefighter.
Ten years ago, he was at work at his communications job for a real estate firm at Penn Station, Peyser, 57, said before the Melville Fire Department’s anniversary ceremony he helped plan to honor the 43 people from Huntington who died that day.
At the time, he was a trained emergency medical technician, so he ran to a nearby firehouse and joined a seven-man crew headed to the trade center. The firefighters all raced to the first tower. Peyser headed west to a medical triage area. He looked up and saw people jumping from buildings, an unimaginable sight. He spent the day treating people injured in the attack and its aftermath.
Later, Peyser learned that the seven firefighters he had joined had all died in the first tower.
“It was an overwhelming feeling of helplessness,” he said. The images of that day haunted him. He spent days just watching television.
The stress, he said, broke up his marriage. But the experience also served as a reawakening of sorts. Peyser had grown up in Melville, but moved away.
After his divorce, he remarried and moved back to his hometown. He soon joined the fire department.
Peyser initially thought he was too old to be of much use, but he found he could help train younger members.
Now, he said, “I don't have that feeling of helplessness anymore.”
-- Sandra Peddie
Dana Palmer was a young teenager when her father, FDNY deputy chief Orio Palmer, 45, died in the attack on the World Trade Center. Sunday’s 10-year anniversary ceremony in Valley Stream made her proud of him all over again, she said.
“This ceremony is a great way to honor his life,” said Palmer, 23, who attended with her sister Alyssa, 19, brother Keith, 21, and mother Debbie Palmer, 52.
The Palmers were among seven families from Valley Stream that lost a family member in the attack. Three of them attended the ceremony at the village’s 9/11 Memorial Garden in A.J. Hendrickson Park. They placed white roses on the 15-foot piece of World Trade Center steel anchoring the memorial.
1 p.m. – In Southampton, responders remember
FDNY firefighter Steve Vella, a Water Mill resident, stood with the volunteers at the Southampton Fire Department ceremony Sunday morning as his son Nate twirled around his father’s arm.
Vella said he remembers the day of the attacks as “a blur.”
Since many of the top commanders died in the attack, a new chain of command had to be quickly established. He said when Nate, 6, and his other son, Kyle, 14, are a little older, he’ll tell them about what he witnessed on the days after the attacks and explain its history.
- STACEY ALTHERR
12:55 p.m.: From Michigan, with love
Sisters Chris Tabaczka, of Michigan, and Victoria Hover, of Louisiana, met in New York this weekend not for a family getaway, or a chance to be tourists -- but to commemorate and remember.
"I wanted to be with New Yorkers," said Tabaczka. "I really saw the best of what American spirit is that day. I'm here to celebrate all the miracles from that day."
The sisters sat together in Times Square watching the news coverage on a jumbotron, sporting matching ribbons commemorating the attacks.
They planned to try to go to Ground Zero later in the day, and also to stop by a firehouse or two. And they already had tickets for a Monday visit to the newly opened memorial.
As they sat, watching children read the names of loved ones who died on the jumbotron, others posed nearby for Times Square tourist photos, running and dancing past.
The women shook their heads and smiled.
"That's what New York is all about," Tabaczka said.
Hover, who had lived in New Jersey 10 years ago, moved to Louisiana three weeks before Hurricane Katrina, which, she said, had become a "forgotten moment."
In New York, she said, she was better able to commemorate and "celebrate the best of people."
12:45 p.m. -- At Roslyn church, a message of peace
The general message at St. Mary Roman Catholic Church in Roslyn was about forgiveness.
"Even if it hurts so much there is still a need to forgive," said Fr. Clifford Baira, a visiting priest who will be at the church until the end of the month.
Lector Phil Kirk said that the attendance this morning was greater than what they have on a normal Sunday morning. He plans to "live it as a regular day."
Rose Verderame said it was nice to together with everyone during an emotional weekend.
And Shirley Tansiongco, a Eucharistic minister who was attending the service, said she would be spending her day visiting nursing homes.
12:30 p.m. – Middle Island memorial for firefighters
Gordon Heights Fire Chief Erton Rudder, a veteran of 26 years with the New York Police Department, spent Sunday morning at a memorial in Middle Island, where he remembered responding to the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
Rudder, who retired as a detective first grade two years ago, spent two weeks digging through the trade center site for remains of the dead. But his most vivid memory is of driving through the Midtown Tunnel after the first tower was struck.
“When I looked over, there was only one tower standing. That’s when it set in that this wasn’t just a dream,” he said.
The memorial in Middle Island was held by the fire department there jointly with the Gordon Heights department. Members of the departments read the names of all of the 343 firefighters who died in the towers.
— PATRICK WHITTLE
12:10 p.m. -- Saddle Rock residents gather at 9/11 bridge
To some, it was graffiti or litter.
To Saddle Rock’s mayor at the time, J. Leonard Samansky, the messages, notes, candles and pictures left on the village bridge created a living memorial.
In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, residents and loved ones flocked to the bridge, the only public place to look across the water to Lower Manhattan and Ground Zero.
Notes scrawled in English, Hebrew and Farsi covered it — speaking of faith and resilience — covered the bridge.
Some residents wanted it painted over, said Adam Samansky, son of J. Leonard Samansky, the former mayor who died in July after 22 years in office.
“He viewed it differently,” Adam Samansky said. “It wasn't graffiti defacing a bridge; it was an outpouring of support.”
12:10 p.m. -- Recalling frantic events
Even with the passage of time, Susan Sheehan vividly recalls how powerless she felt that day.
Sheehan was at her East Village home when she heard a loud noise she first attributed to nearby construction. Then, the phone rang. She turned on the television.
She headed downtown on foot.
"I ran out the door with no money, no water," said Sheehan, who now lives in Hauppauge. "My first thought was, 'What could I do to help?'"
She got as close as she could to Ground Zero before being turned away by first responders at the scene. The horror of the hours that followed still lingers.
"All you could do was stare at each other," she said. "For five days that's all you could do. And it was silent. As silent as it was during a blizzard. Everyone spoke in a whisper."
The memory of people frantically searching for loved ones still brings tears to her eyes.
"The families coming up to you with pictures, asking, 'Have you seen them? Have you seen them?' I still remember that."
"There's not a single day I don't think of this," she said. "I still jump at loud noises."
-- SOPHIA CHANG
12 p.m. -- Dolan: ‘Angels, not demons,’ prevailed
At a special memorial Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Catholic leaders Sunday praised the courage and faith shown by New Yorkers in overcoming the trauma of the terror attacks.
“A decade ago, it seemed the side of darkness had conquered,” said New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, noting that time has proven that “the side of angels, not demons” has prevailed.
“There were no atheists here on 9/11 in New York,” he said. “My message today is that God has the last word.”
Dolan, joined by his predecessor, Cardinal Edward Egan, read aloud a message from Pope Benedict XVI, who praised Americans “for the courage and generosity that they showed in their rescue operation and for their resilience in moving forward with hope and confidence.”
Security was tight inside St. Patrick’s – the spiritual home for millions of Catholic Americans – with police officers stationed outside and security guards inside checking the bags and belongings of the 700 people attending the Mass.
The solemn event was part of a series of religious remembrances around the New York metro area that included a special prayer service for New York firefighters that Dolan presided over on Saturday.
On Sunday, Dolan was helped by four altar servers, all of who are sons of New York City firefighter Vincent Halloran, who died during 9/11 rescue efforts at the World Trade Center.
Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said there have been 18 funerals at the cathedral for New York City firefighters and “dozens more” for police officers, other rescuers and civilians who died on 9/11.
After Mass, Egan recalled how “thousands” of people crowded the cathedral in the hours following the attacks to pray and seek spiritual solace.
11:54 a.m. -- For Scottish singers, an ‘incredible journey’
Several women, all dressed in black, emerged from a limousine near Ground Zero on Sunday morning.
They are part of a choir from Scotland on a goodwill mission, member Elaine Tucker said.
"We have come to New York to support you through the September 11 memorial," she said.
Singers from three police choirs in Scotland make up the choir. They raised money for the trip to New York and have been performing free concerts all weekend.
On Sunday, the three were headed to the British Memorial Garden in Hanover Square to join with the others in performing a concert featuring a special medley of the "The Star Spangled Banner" and the spiritual "Amazing Grace."
The reception from New Yorkers has been overwhelming, Tucker said.
"Amazing, absolutely amazing. People have been hugging us," she said. "It's been an incredible journey."
-- SOPHIA CHANG
11:54 a.m. – In Times Square, taking in a matinee
Nathan Kendrick, 22, wasn't watching the Ground Zero ceremonies -- or participating in any one of the numerous commemorations around the city.
Just before 10 a.m., he was first on line for student rush tickets to see the matinee of “Mary Poppins.”
"I can't wait," said the newly minted New Yorker. He just started graduate school at the Manhattan School of Music.
The significance of the anniversary, Nathan Kendrick said, was "impossible to miss." And he said he hoped to head downtown later on to pay tribute.
For now, though, going to Broadway seemed, he said, to be in line with the resilience of New Yorkers.
"They seem to have their own spirit," he said. "I already feel it, too."
11:39 a.m. -- 'A lot of pain' in viewing ceremony
Tom Kyle worked for a drilling company that worked on clearing Ground Zero and helped lay the foundation for the new tower. On Sunday, he was among many who stood at Church and Park streets, about a block from the memorial, watching the ceremony on a large video screen.
With arms crossed, he watched Paul Simon sing “Sound of Silence,” and listened as countless family members read the names of loved ones they lost. “I feel lost,” he said. “There's a lot of pain here.”
11:28 a.m. -- 'Something special about Battery Park.'
As dawn's light reflected off New York Harbor and Lady Liberty, several dozen residents gathered in the silence of Battery Park City to pray and sing songs of peace in remembrance of the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.
For the residents, many of whom watched the towers collapse from the windows and doorsteps of their apartment buildings, the attacks are forever etched in their memories.
"When we were evacuated 10 years ago we made a commitment to stay,’’ said Mary Dillon, 54, whose four daughters were born and raised in Battery Park City, which was built on landfill excavated during the construction of the World Trade Center in the 1970s. “This was our home when we fled,’’ she said. “All my daughters, who were then 3, 6, 9 and 11, said, ‘We want to go home.’
“We felt if we left we were giving up. Our roots were here and we were not going to let the terrorists win. A lot of people moved, but for us there was always something special about Battery Park.‘’
“It feels really good to be with neighbors and friends,‘’ said Rosalie Joseph, who has lived in Battery Park City since 1990. “It’s good to be surrounded by this gorgeous park, and embrace the unity we share.‘’
At the ceremony, residents read prayers by Saint Francis and the Dali Lama, poems by Walt Whitman, and quotations from Winston Churchill, such as “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.‘’
A quote from Dr. Seuss held special meaning for Nan Noonan: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.’’
“I hope [the nation] will get back and realize what our collective capabilities can accomplish,’’ she said, adding she finds solace when she sees neighbors and their kids going to birthday parties and soccer games. “But I keep checking every day to make sure the ‘Lady’ is still standing,’’ she said, looking out into the harbor at the Statute of Liberty.
-- MARIA ALVAREZ
11:23 a.m. -- A family remembers in Southampton
Shelby Pierson, 12, whose father is Southampton Fire Chief Rod Pierson, said worrying about terrorists seems just a part of life to her.
But when she watched a television special on the attacks with her sister, it made them cry.
“It was the one where everyone was helping each other,” she said. “It’s just so sad.”
Shelby was attending this morning’s memorial ceremony in Southampton with her mother, sister and grandparents.
— STACEY ALTHERR
11:17 a.m.: For one family, a measure of comfort
Sept. 11 now brings an annual family reunion for Elizabeth Moore, 52, of Macon, Ga.
Her brother, Larry Bowman, of Queens, was killed in the South Tower, where he was a security guard.
Every year, relatives from as far away as California travel to New York to remember him.
Sunday morning, members of the family wore matching white T-shirts that bore Bowman's picture and the words "Never Forgotten."
Hearing his name read among the thousands killed in the terrorist attacks was tough, Moore said.
Still, she said, being near Ground Zero on the 10th anniversary brought the family a measure of comfort.
"It feels as though I can really put closure to it," Moore said. "It's the time span. We will never forget, but it's time to put closure to it. He's gone and not coming back.?
11:06 a.m.: In Melville, names are the only sound
The silence was striking.
Right next to two busy roads, the Melville Fire Department held a solemn Sept. 11 memorial service.
Despite the fact that nearly 300 people attended the service, there were no cell phones ringing, few people chattering, and not even much texting. Even a biking club passing through on its regular Sunday morning ride stopped under an American flag hanging from a fire truck to listen as department members laid wreaths and unveiled a plaque with the names of the 43 people from Huntington who died.
10:53 a.m. -- A 'beautiful and simple' ceremony in Port Jefferson
About 100 people gathered at the Port Jefferson Fire Department for what former chief Desmond O'Sullivan called a "beautiful and simple" ceremony.
Members of the Port Jefferson, Mount Sinai, Setauket and Terryville fire departments stood at attention while the flag was lowered to half-mast and the names of members killed in the attacks were read.
For more on the ceremony, read Erin Geismar's blog post.
10:48 a.m. -- Crowd urges on emotional 'Amazing Grace' singer
Hundreds of firefighters from around the world stood solemnly at attention as the names of their fallen comrades were read aloud in front of the firefighters' memorial on the Upper West Side.
Large, burly men dabbed at their eyes as the names were recounted.
After the names were finished, a woman sang “Amazing Grace.” She paused midway through song -- the sounds of her choking back tears were faintly audible. The crowd broke into applause urging her on.
Strengthened by the crowd, she finished the song.
10:43 a.m. -- Remembering a brother in photos
John Curatolo, 46, didn't want to attend the memorial. He preferred to sit quietly in a lawn chair a block away from Ground Zero and thumb through the scrap book his wife made of his kid brother, Robert, a fireman who died when the second tower collapsed.
Curatolo, also a member of the FDNY, spent two days at the site, digging for Robert's remains. He said the pain is as acute today as it was then. Robert, 31 when he died, got married just 28 days before he was killed. He and his girlfriend tied the knot in Walt Disney World.
Robert was one of eight siblings; dozens of family members descended on Florida for the wedding. They stayed in Orlando for three weeks.
Robert, the youngest of his siblings, planned to start a family when he returned home to Staten Island. His brother remembers his warmth and humor, how whenever he entered a party he would say,
"Hello, my fans!" John said he would spend the remainder of the day the same way he has every anniversary since the attacks. He'll attend mass at St. Bart’s, have lunch with some fellow firefighters and then host an open house where he expects up to 300 people by the time the day is through.
-- Jo Napolitano
10:36 a.m. -- 'The world's place'
They got engaged in 1999 at the World Trade Center, believing the towers' image, captured in movies and pictures, would provide a lasting reminder of their joy.
Instead, Deanna and Bill Roepke of Raleigh, N.C., stood there together Sunday, reminded, they said, of life's fragility.
"It was Bill's idea we get engaged at the Windows on the World," Deanna, 41, said of the famous collection of restaurants and banquet rooms on the 106th and 107th floors of the trade center's North Tower.
Over the years, the couple has continued to return there for "big life events" -- 30th, 40th birthdays -- believing the trade center to be "the people's place."
"Just listen to the languages spoken around you. This is truly the world's place, a place of tolerance where people live and love together," said Deanna, tears in her eyes as she and her husband watched the 10th anniversary commemoration ceremony. The towers' absence hurt.
"We thought we would always see them," she said. "To have that gone is a powerful reminder of the impermanence of everything."
-- SARAH CRICHTON
10:28 a.m. -- North tower moment of silence
10:25 a.m. -- 300 gather at Saddle Rock bridge
At the Saddle Rock, N.J., bridge where people watched the twin towers crumble in the distance and later returned to leave notes, flowers and photos, about 300 people gathered a decade later to honor those who died.
Carrying flags bearing the names of those who died, firefighters and their junior counterparts from Alert Fire Company gathered, the Empire State Building rising in the background.
The ceremony was punctuated bells to mark key moments of Sept. 11, 2001: the time the first plane hit, the second to follow, a crash at the Pentagon, the collapse of the towers and a fireball erupting from a Pennsylvania field.
"The world as we knew it changed in an instant," said Peter Meade, Alert's past president and a member for 45 years. "It was here that you could see the towers. This is our bridge and the story is on it."
-- Emily Dooley
10:23 a.m. -- Brother, father return to Ground Zero
Crisci's brother and Napolitano's son -- both FDNY firefighters named John -- died in the rubble of the fallen towers.
That day, John Crisci had finished his shift and his replacement had arrived at 8 a.m. but he stuck around until 9 a.m. And when the call came for the World Trade Center, he went, according to his brother.
John Napolitano, his father wrote in an online remembrance, was with the Lakeland Fire Department for 16 of his 33 years, starting as a junior volunteer and eventually holding every rank, including chief of that department.
"As we approach the 10-year anniversary of that day in September, for myself and I would guess many others -- especially those of us that lost loved ones, those who were rescued by our firefighters and police officers, and those who participated in the search -- those days of September, we live that day, each and every day of our lives," the father wrote of his son and namesake.
Sunday morning, as Lenny Crisci, of Holbrook, walked toward Ground Zero, he said, "My heart's beating very fast now." He passed the spot where his brother left his fire truck before running into the burning towers.
"That's one of the last times my brother was alive and virile," he said.
-- ALFONSO A. CASTILLO
10:20 a.m. -- Trash cans removed from Broadway
Trash cans have been removed from Broadway, undoubtedly a security precaution, leading many lampposts to have a small shrine of discarded coffee cups around them.
-- Jennifer Barrios
10:10 a.m. -- Plainview memorial
Firefighters, Eagle Scouts and residents are among the dozens outside the Mid Island Y JCC on Manetto Hill Road in Plainview for a 9/11 memorial ceremony.
10:09 a.m. -- 'The emotions all come back'
Nick Visconti, former deputy chief of Division 14 on 76th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway, was one of the hundreds of firefighters who attended a memorial on the Upper West Side. He retired three years ago.
Visconti, who has been coming every year to the memorial, said this year has been especially powerful.
"Ten years. Sometimes it seems like yesterday and sometimes it seems like 100 years ago," Visconti said. "We said at 9/11 we'll never forget here -- and we'll never forget," he added, his eyes getting glassy. "For the last 10 years in everything we dom we never forget. "
Jim Brennan retired as a lieutenant from the fire academy a couple years ago. Ten years ago today he was watching TV with his son at home when he learned about the attacks.
For the next six months he and his fellow firefighters worked nonstop at Ground Zero.
Brennan has been coming to the memorial every year. He has noticed the increased attention and media coverage but said this anniversary is no different. The feelings are always there.
"It's a bit more personal," he said.
10:03 a.m. -- Fifth moment of silence
10 a.m. – Teen: ‘Now I understand’
At Washington Square Park in the West Village, radio host Aimee Kristi, 50, and her son, Zac Crawford, 16, placed carnations in the fountain at the moments when the first and second planes hit the World Trade Center.
Kristi said they wanted to do more than simply watch the ceremony on TV.
"We just thought this would be a way to show our respect and love for the city," said Kristi, who lives with her son in the East Village. "I hope this gives him a sense of respect and sacrifice." Zac, a sophomore at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, was in kindergarten in Long Branch, N.J., at the time of the terrorist attack 10 years ago.
"I was growing up at the time and I didn't understand what happened," Crawford said. "Now I understand."
Crawford looked south toward where the Twin Towers once dominated the skyline of Lower Manhattan, and where now 1 World Trade Center is rising.
"Looking at the Freedom Tower, it's kind of a symbol of rebirth for the city and the nation," he said.
-- TED PHILLIPS
9:48 a.m. -- When 'the world changed'
Henriette Nielsen of Copenhagen, Denmark, distinctly remembers where she was when, as she put it, "the world changed."
"I was at work at the time and my husband called and said turn on CNN," she said Sunday morning as she watched families check in for the memorial ceremony at Ground Zero. "I saw the second plane hit and, watching it, I said to my husband, 'Do you want me to come home?' He said yes." Then the world changed."
Nielsen, a lawyer who grew up in Atlanta and has a part-time residence on the Upper West Side, happened to be back in New York for the 10th anniversary. She spent 20 minutes at Ground Zero watching families walk by, holding hands and bearing flags.
"Oh God," she said, tears filling her eyes. "It's so sad."
-- SOPHIA CHANG
9:47 a.m. -- Firefighter in iconic photo in Point Lookout
Retired FDNY firefighter Bob Beckwith, who stood with President George W. Bush on a crushed fire engine and pile of debris at Ground Zero in 2001, on Sunday went to Point Lookout rather than to the site of the iconic image.
Beckwith, a Baldwin resident, said he chose the Long Island ceremony over Lower Manhattan because no first responders were invited to the Ground Zero memorial and he did not lose any family members in the attack.
“I know a lot of people that came here, that’s why I came,” Beckwith, 79, said as he toured the Town of Hempstead memorial with his wife Barbara.
9:41 a.m. -- '... in our hearts always'
A note at FDNY Squad 288/HazMat 1, in Maspeth, Queens, the firehouse that lost the most firefighters in the 9/11 attacks, reads: "Not lost, but in our hearts always."
Outside, children of firefighters play in fire trucks as their parents console each other inside.
-- Emily Ngo
9:37 a.m. -- Third moment of silence
9:34 a.m. -- 'It doesn't feel like 10 years'
In the years since his death, his daughter and son have grown into teenagers. "It's weird to be back here where my father last was," Andrea Tegtmeier, 13, who has few memories of her dad, said Sunday as she, her brother and her mother attended the 10th anniversary commemoration of Sept. 11.
Eric Tegtmeier, 16, has followed in his dad's footsteps and become a junior firefighter in their hometown. He spent Saturday night at his dad's former firehouse in Manhattan's Garment District.
"It was pretty cool," he said, although it made a sleepless night. Cathy Tegtmeier struggled for a moment to remember how old her husband was when he died. After a pause, she said, "He was 41. I lost track ... It doesn't feel like 10 years."
-- SOPHIA CHANG
9:31 a.m. -- EMT makes annual pilgrimage
Betty Howell, 59, of Absecon, N.J., spent Sept. 11, 2001 at Ground Zero dispatched in her role as a South Jersey EMT.
"I've been to a lot of disasters," she said, "but I've never been to one like that."
Howell spent 20 days at Ground Zero treating first responders for eye injuries and burns. Like other EMTs and emergency personnel there and at nearby hospitals, she noted the dearth of survivors that she and others had expected from the catastrophe.
The 10th anniversary brought Howell again to lower Manhattan. She returns every year.
"I like to come here and see how it physically changes," Howell said.
Sunday morning, she and her niece, Jessica Howell, 24, waited for the ceremonial bell at St. Paul's Chapel to ring at 8:46 a.m.
"Before 9/11, I didn't know what the World Trade Center was," Jessica Howell said. Now, she joins her aunt most years for the annual pilgrimage.
Betty Howell said she was especially anticipating Sunday night's "unofficial celebration" -- a night at an Irish pub with many of the firefighters and EMTs with whom she served.
-- JENNIFER BARRIOS
9:26 a.m.: NYPD officer: 'We honor them daily'
One by one, the names of the 23 NYPD officers who died 10 years ago in the Sept. 11 attacks today echoed over the loudspeaker in the lobby of 1 Police Plaza and upstairs.
One by one, the names of the fallen echoed in a lobby containing plaques engraved with the names of NYPD officers who died in the line of duty.
One by one, the names echoed upstairs into the halls outside the Joint Operations Center to the Real Time Crime Center, where the work of the fallen continued in their absence.
Sunday’s ceremony began precisely at 8:46 a.m., the moment when 10 years ago the first terrorist-hijacked jetliner struck the World Trade Center.
“We honor them daily by protecting the American way of life for which they died on that day,” said a police officer acting as master of ceremonies.
He added: “As we observe the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, take pride in knowing … that the New York City Police Department demonstrated the highest principles of service and humanity in our response to that day.”
Then all bowed their heads during a minute of silence. A minute later, they went back to their police work protecting New York City.
9:22 a.m.: A 'special' viewing in Times Square
Jim and Barbara Mady arrived in Times Square at 7:30 a.m., found two chairs in the plaza on Broadway right in front of a large screen streaming a feed from CNN.
There, American flags covered some of the video billboards, while others remained blaring with advertisements.
Jim Mady grew up in Forest Hills and still has family in the area. Two years ago, he booked reservations to be back on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
"This is my place, my people," Jim Mady, 64, said. "We've been here for other anniversaries but today has turned out to be much more special."
Mady's voice caught as he looked around at a quiet Times Square.
"We need to honor these people, who just went to work. And those who went in to help."
Said Barbara Mady, 60: "I think it's very important that everyone remembers."
Mady's four children asked the couple not to come to New York, fearing for their safety.
"Right now, this is the safest place in the country," Jim Mady said.
He looked up at the screen as the ceremony began just a few miles away.
Behind him, a car honked and someone started to set up the half-price ticket line for the Broadway matinees showing later in the afternoon.
Then, as those on the large screen marked the moment when the first plane hit, people around Mady fell silent. Slowly, Mady stood up -- and bowed his head.
9:15 a.m. -- 'We just try to live normal'
Carlos Rivas and his mother Julia were among family members who came to honor Rivas’ older brother Moises Rivas, who was 27 and working as a cook at the Windows of the World.
Carlos Rivas, 26, said the day had been “very stressful.” The family’s arrival was delayed, he said, because of the president’s motorcade and misunderstanding over the family’s credentials.
“We just try to live normal,” Carlos said as his mother wept as his side, clutching a framed photograph of Moises. “But we always remember about him.”
9:15 a.m. -- Reading of names resumes
9:08 a.m. Yo-Yo Ma performs
Celebrated cellist Yo-Yo-Ma is performing a Bach composition
9:06 a.m.: President Bush speaks
Former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time of the 9/11 attacks, makes brief remarks.
8:51 a.m.: Reading of names begin
8:48 a.m.: Photos of fallen colleagues
A firefighter at FDNY's Squad 288/HazMat 1 in Maspeth, Queens, speaking after the first moment of silence at 8:46, marking when the first tower was struck, gestured to photos of his fallen colleagues on a slideshow projected behind him and using one as an example called it a "one-dimensional picture of a multi-dimensional hero."
8:39 a.m.: 80 family members of firefighter attend
Richard was a captain with Engine 16, Ladder Co. 7 in the FDNY.
"My brother's here from Philly, we have family from Georgia, we're here from all over,” said Natasha Counts, 38, of Maryland, standing at the intersection of Church and Barclay streets. She said Richard dedicated his life to public service.
"Although it's tragic for us that he was taken this way,” Count said, “we know in our hearts that he wouldn't have it any other way. He died serving his fellow man and in the midst of this sadness, we can be immensely proud."
8:35 a.m. W. Hempstead sister quietly grieves
At the corner of Church and Warren streets, Janice Hart, of West Hempstead, was among the family members of 9/11 victims filing through a checkpoint toward the monument. A few carried American flags or cameras. But like most Hart brought nothing to capture the moment or to show her national pride. She was there only to grieve her brother, Jeffrey Schreier, 48, of Brooklyn, who worked in the mailroom at Cantor-Fitzgerald.
8:33 a.m.: Firehouse commemoration
FDNY's Squad 288/HazMat 1 in Maspeth, Queens, the firehouse that lost the most firefighters in the 9/11 attacks, marked the event this morning with a huge breakfast for their members and their families.
The 19 lost are commemorated on plaques on one wall of the firehouse under the words "Brothers in Battle."
8:20 a.m.: Arranging the names
Clifford Chanin, acting director of education for the 9/11 museum, is among a large group of volunteers who made their way onto the memorial plaza. He is stationed at the north pool, where his job, with many other volunteers, is to help family members find the names of their loved ones, "and anything else that comes up."
"This is a day that everybody's been sort of watching and people really wanted to be here," he said. "A lot of us work at the museum. It's really kind of the capstone to years of effort. The idea of coming out here and being with the families on the plaza was an absolute priority, I think for anybody who's been working on the project."
He pulled out a map to explain the numbering system. The north pool goes from numbers 1 to 76. Families could ask for people -- siblings or colleagues, say -- to be grouped together in "meaningful adjacencies," even though to the untutored eye this is very hard to discern.
The arrangement is so complex that it was done by computer algorithm. Families will probably know the number of their loved one's section, he said, and might ask, for instance, "How do we get to N-14?" N stands for north and S for south.
8:17 a.m.: Heavy security
Security is heavy at Penn Station. Soldiers with automatic weapons lined the terminal, city police checked bags and state troopers also filled the area.
Along with the transit police, a police dog and several firefighters in their dress blues, there were nearly more people in uniform than civilians at the station.
8:14 a.m.: Early-morning look at Ground Zero
In the early dawn light, the towers under construction at the World Trade Center site were illuminated in red white and blue stripes, which faded to normal as the daylight brightened.
The site is still surrounded in part by construction fences, giving it an unfinished look.
At the Rector Street No. 1 subway exit, the sign now says Rector Street 9/11 Memorial, with the eleven written in the distinctive blue of the official logo conjuring the twin towers.
Tower one, the twisting 'freedom tower' still under construction, is draped with two flags.
The names of the dead are stenciled in austere typeface into the smooth black metal surrounding the gigantic pools that commemorate the footprints of the fallen towers: Deborah Jacobs Welsh, Nicole Carol Miller, Jason M. Dahl, begin the section labeled Flight 93. The cut-out names are illuminated from within. The waterfalls plunge from beneath the parapets displaying the names to a second level where the waters flow gently into a concentric square opening that appears to be lined with black stone block, like a chimney, then descend into the invisible depths.
Everything is black and white: the metal, stone, water, illuminated letters. The roar of the waterfalls is almost deafening, like Niagara Falls. The view down to the depths where the water disappears is dizzying. A worker used a wet rag for a last-minute wiping down of the gleaming metal parapet, as if no fingerprints should be allowed until the families entered.
8 a.m.: Governors tour North Tower site
Chris Ward, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was touring the site of the North Tower with former New York Gov. George Pataki, former New Jersey Gov. Donald DiFrancesco and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as they all gazed into the waterfall at the memorial pool.
The pool is surrounded by the bronze name parapets.