New York and Connecticut residents mark the 16th anniversary of the September 11th attacks at events across the region today.
The annual memorial service at the World Trade Center featured the reading of the names of the victims and moments of silence at the times when the planes hit the buildings, and when they collapsed. In the evening, the Tribute in Light to represent the Twin Towers will be lit.
On Long Island, the Town of Hempstead held a Monday morning ceremony at its new permanent memorial at the Point Lookout Beach where people watched as the World Trade Center towers collapsed.
It’s the latest memorial to the victims of the terror attacks and among a growing number of memorials to the hundreds of people who died of illnesses after participating in the recovery effort.
It features a 30-foot beam of Trade Center steel, an elevated walkway and plaques engraved with the names of nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks.
A separate plaque will have the names of 582 people who spent time in the rubble and later died of illnesses their families or doctors suspected were linked to toxic ash at the site.
Suffolk County held its memorial service on Monday as well. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone spoke about the power of remembrance.
“It starts to become easier to forget. But we come here today, we gather, it’s our obligation to those who were lost, it’s our obligation to come together like this and to honor them and to remember them.”
A bell was rung in the memory of each of the 178 Suffolk County residents who lost their lives at the World Trade Center.
In Connecticut, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling hosted a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at Norwalk City Hall. 14 Norwalk residents died that day.
“Those attacks on the World Trade Center filled us with tremendous resolve. We got back up more united and stronger as a nation, as a people. So it is proper and fitting that we continue these ceremonies each year remembering what happened on that horrible day and resolving never to let it happen again,” Rilling said.
U.S. Representative Jim Himes, D-Conn., attended the Norwalk ceremony. Himes was in lower Manhattan the day of the attacks.
“What I choose to remember, right behind the memory of those friends lost, is the heroism of the first responders, there was no hate. There were no mobs of people gathered demanding revenge. There was no call for war, no hysteria.
Instead, the whole way, there were people in New York lining up around blocks to give blood, offering water to people who walked up from Lower Manhattan pointing the way. It seemed if the whole population of New York turned out to to just come together and ask, ‘How can we help? How can we make this better?’
And so as we remember that today, 16 years ago, with so much pain, I choose to nurture that instinct that so many New Yorkers felt and very soon thereafter, so many Americans felt, that in that moment we weren’t black or white, rich or poor, male or female, Jewish, Christian or Muslim, we were people. American people.”
Other ceremonies were held throughout the day at various fire departments and town and village halls, including in Wilton and Derby.
Connecticut’s official memorial ceremony was held at Sherwood Island State Park last week.
161 Connecticut residents died in the attacks.