Onlookers held their right hands to their hearts as a small copper bell was tapped each time the name of one of the 13 victims of 9/11 from Wantagh was read aloud.
The solemn ceremony was part of a Patriot Day event held Saturday at the hamlet's American Legion Post 1273 to mark the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was one of several such commemorations held on Long Island over the weekend and a preview of many more.
Legion Post commander Mark Greaker said that holding the ceremony on a weekend instead of on the anniversary allowed more people to attend.
Many of the several dozens at the Wantagh event said they wanted to help remember the victims this year in particular, when new threats loom from another deadly terrorist organization, the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.
"I'm praying this won't happen again," said Ingrid Bloomfield, a former Army nurse captain who attended the ceremony.
"Thirteen years have passed, but the memory lingers on, and we'll never forget," said Nassau Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick), one of the elected officials who spoke at the event. "Today we're wondering if something's going to happen -- not if, but when."
"We have a lot of trouble right now with ISIS, but America always ends up on top," said Assemb. David McDonough (R-Merrick). "We're on the precipice of what could be more trouble, but we will end up on top."
The event included placement of memorial wreaths outside the American Legion building, a rifle salute and the playing of "Taps."
Also Saturday, Long Island University dedicated the field of its new Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium in Brookville to Durrell "Bronko" Pearsall '92. The former football star for the Pioneers was a member of the Fire Department of New York Rescue 4 and the Hempstead Fire Department who perished in the line of duty on Sept. 11, 2001.