Relatives of 9/11 Victims Reflect on 11th Anniversary

Relatives and friends gather for solemn tribute at ground zero as nation reflects on 9/11

Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012  |  Updated 1:34 PM EDT
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Relatives of those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks gather for an emotional reading of the names.

Relatives of those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks gather for an emotional reading of the names.

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Family members of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 gathered at ground zero and across the tri-state area to remember their loved ones 11 years after the attacks -- an anniversary that some have called different from past years.

Below is a compilation of some of their reflections:

-- The wife of a Cantor Fitzgerald worker says this year's anniversary feels "calmer'' than previous years. Jane Pollicino went to the ceremony in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday from Plainview, Long Island. She says last year was tougher because of the emotional turning point of the 10th anniversary. Still, people who think she must be "over it'' are wrong. The grief still lingers.

-- Joe Torres, a captain in the Elizabeth, N.J., fire department, brought his 16-year-old daughter, Lea, to the World Trade Center ceremony for her first time. She's one of the readers of names of the dead. The Torres family lost Joe's sister-in-law -- Lea's aunt -- on the 89th floor of the southern tower.      Says Lea: "It's not all sad. My aunt is looking down on me, smiling.''

-- A New Jersey woman who lost her sister says going to the World Trade Center site is "like ripping off a Band-Aid.' But despite the reopened wound, Yasmine Leon of Union, N.J., says she'll never stop returning on the anniversary of 9/11. Her sister, Adianes Cortes Oyola of Brooklyn, was working in the South Tower for Fuji Bank. They were supposed to go to lunch together that fateful day. Leon's mood this year is one of reflection. She says time has been her greatest asset. 

-- Walter Matuza of Staten Island has returned to the World Trade Center site to honor his father. Walter Matuza Jr. was a telecommunications analyst for Carr Futures, on the 92nd floor of Tower 1. The son says he was upset on the fifth anniversary because the site was just a big hole in the ground. By the 10th anniversary, last year, he says it was a beautiful place. This year, Matuza thinks people still remember what happened there. He says that's important. At the same time, they're moving on with their lives -- and that's OK with him.

-- Sara Micciulli was just 9 months old when her father, William Micciulli, was killed in the north tower. She was among the readers at the Manhattan ceremony on Tuesday. As the crowd looked on, she told her "daddy'' that she'll love him forever. Sara says everyone thinks she is her father's "mini-me." She asked him to watch over his loved ones from heaven.

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