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Pain of loss keeps some from 9/11 Memorial

A view of the south pool waterfall with

A view of the south pool waterfall with the Freedom Tower in the background at the World Trade Center site in Manhattan. (Aug. 4, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

Linda Cavalier of Huntington, whose son Judson, 26 -- called "Judd" -- worked on the 104th floor of the south tower, hasn't been to the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero. The memorial is for other people, not for her, she said.

"I'm glad it's there -- they did a beautiful job -- but I don't need to be reminded of that; I'm reminded of it every single day," she said.

Maybe one day, when her grandson Tyler Judd, born in April, is old enough, she will take him to the site. "I would want him to know what happened firsthand that day," she said.

Jane Pollicino of Plainview lost her husband, Steve, 48, a corporate bond trader who worked on the 104th floor of the north tower.

She said she was impressed when she first saw the memorial opened to families on the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks.

"On Sept. 11, when I walked out with my family, it was awesome and breathtaking," she said.

Cavalier and Pollicino expressed similar feelings about tributes to victims -- including the 258 portraits of Long Islanders Newsday began publishing on Feb. 27.

The portraits kept alive the legacy of her husband and the close to 500 Long Islanders who died that day, Pollicino said. But there has been an emotional price. After her son's profile ran in Newsday on May 8, Cavalier said she heard from people she hadn't been in touch with for years.

"I heard from a girl who I was in Lamaze class with," she said.

Pollicino, whose husband's remains were never recovered, said she has had some problems with decisions made about the 9/11 Memorial. For instance, the 9/11 museum, slated to open late next year, will contain still-unidentified remains buried below ground and behind a wall.

"My thought was that I would be able to go on the plaza and have some kind of tomb to visit," she said.

The deeper issue for Pollicino is that many people see the memorial as a tourist destination, not as a sacred site.

"I have to get over the fact that I'm going to be seeing people snapping pictures," she said. "At the same time, I want people there."

Now that the 10th anniversary year is almost over, Cavalier said she is ready for a break: "Leave us alone now. Let it be."

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