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Emotions still raw at Babylon 9/11 memorial

Connor Downey reflects on his grandfather's memorial in

Connor Downey reflects on his grandfather's memorial in Babylon. (Sept. 11, 2011) Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Ten years later, the emotions are still raw.

Despite a cool breeze and graying skies, people lingered Sunday 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. A firefighter standing sentry at the ceremony said, "Now is not a good time." Others were too consumed with their own private grief to pull away from the plaques.

"This is a very bad year for them," said Councilwoman Ellen T. McVeety, who, with the families, helped plan the memorial. "Maybe because it's a landmark year."

While words were an effort, the plaques -- each one engraved with pictures and remembrances selected by the families -- had been carefully tended. They were lovingly adorned with beach pebbles, flowers and flags. In front of one was a toy beach shovel. Before another, golf balls.

Even those who did not lose loved ones in the terrorist attacks said they found themselves moved by the memorial's poignancy and the beauty of the beach setting.

Steve Markham, of Babylon, said he had come to support those who lost loved ones. "People are, in their own way, remembering."

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