Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
Carrie Bergonia of Pennsylvania looks over the name of her fiance, firefighter Joseph Ogren, at the 9/11 Memorial during ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
Navy Quartermaster Matthew Konchan of Johnstown, Pa., stands in a field of black-eyed Susan as he waits to participate in a wreath laying with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell during a memorial service at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 in Shanksville. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
"I've often said this has been the fastest 12 years of my life," Schwartz said. "But if you are a surviving family member, I'd imagine this has been the longest 12 years of your life, because you're waking up every day with a hole in your heart."
Bloomberg also spoke at a remembrance service for the 84 Port Authority employees killed on Sept. 11 at St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, in the shadow of where the World Trade Center once stood.
"On that terrible day, we were united in prayer and compassion for all of you who lost loved ones," the mayor said. "As we woke up this morning, our first thoughts were with you as well."
Dozens of family members and colleagues filled the pews as the Port Authority Police Pipes and Drums played during the posting of colors.
Around the world, thousands of volunteers pledged to do good deeds, honoring an anniversary that was designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009.
By next year's anniversary, a 9/11 museum is expected to be open beneath the memorial plaza in New York City. While the memorial honors those killed, the museum is intended to present a broader picture, including the experiences of survivors and first responders.
"As things evolve in the future, the focus on the remembrance is going to stay sacrosanct," memorial President Joe Daniels said.
Douglas Hamatie, whose 31-year-old cousin Robert Horohoe worked for Cantor Fitzgerald and died on 9/11, drew applause from the crowd when he declared that the day should become a national holiday.
"The kids today, they know when the next iPhone's coming out, and they know when the next Justin Bieber concert is, but they don't know enough about 9/11," he said. "So let's change that, please."
The organizers have said they will always keep the focus on the families, and that was evident this year as relatives gathered on the tree-laden plaza, where a smaller crowd gathered — only friends and family of the victims were allowed.
Vicki Tureski, who lost her brother-in-law on Sept. 11, said the victims' families will help each other through the years to come.
"Strangers who are now friends, friends who are now family, family who pull us to our feet each day," she said. "I promise to continue to keep you in my prayers as we go through decade two of carrying the tragedy of 9/11 with us."
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Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, foreground left, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, right, attend ceremonies at the 9/11 Memorial marking the 12th Anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, in New York, on Wednesday.
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The World Trade Center Flag is presented as friends and relatives of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks gather at the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site on Wednesday.