As those on the large screen marked the moment when the first plane struck the north tower, the crowd around Jim and Barbara Mady fell silent. Slowly, Jim Mady stood up -- and bowed his head.
Jim and Barbara Mady arrived in Times Square at 7:30 Sunday morning and found two chairs in the plaza on Broadway. They were in front of a large-screen television streaming a feed of the ceremony from Ground Zero on CNN. The South Carolina residents wanted to be with others, they said, but didn't want to take spots at Ground Zero that should go to police, firefighters and others.
Jim Mady, 64, grew up in Forest Hills and still has family in the area. Two years ago, he booked reservations to be in New York on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
"This is my place, my people," he said. "We've been here for other anniversaries but today has turned out to be much more special."
His 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."
Barbara Mady, 60, echoed her husband's sentiments. "I think it's very important that everyone remembers," she said.
Their four children asked them 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.