Wearing a "Gone But Not Forgotten" commemorative T-shirt to Southampton's 9-11 memorial dedication Sunday, civil engineer Wayne Moore talked about the time he spent "on the pile" during the recovery effort following the attacks. Moore was there as part of the New York National Guard's 106th Air Rescue Wing, based at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach.
What he remembers, Moore said, were the people coming up to him with pictures of lost loved ones, asking whether he had seen them. "That was the thing that bothered me the most," he said.
Moore's unit stayed at the site for 10 days. He retired five years ago.
Moore sat on bleachers in front of the Southampton firehouse Sunday as bagpipers played "Amazing Grace," and tears flowed as freely as the waterfall running through a piece of steel from the World Trade Center that anchored the memorial.
With his family, he listened to speakers at the ceremony talking about a moment in history he knows personally, honoring the history in which he played a part.
"I thought I should be here," he said.