At Ground Zero, New York and Nation Mark 10 Years Since 9/11

The families saw the memorial, inscribed with loved ones' names, for the first time.

By Pei-Sze Cheng and Sara Frazier
|  Monday, Sep 12, 2011  |  Updated 6:30 AM EDT
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Family members of 9/11 victims gather at the 9/11 memorial on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. As they read the names, some call out messages to their lost relatives. Young Nicholas Gorski tells the father he never met:

NBC New York

Family members of 9/11 victims gather at the 9/11 memorial on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. As they read the names, some call out messages to their lost relatives. Young Nicholas Gorski tells the father he never met: "I love you for loving the idea of having me."

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Ten years after two planes struck the twin towers in an attack that killed nearly 3,000 people, New York marked a decade of both pain and healing with the ritual reading of the names at a new memorial to the lost.

The ground zero ceremony paused for the moments exactly 10 years ago that the hijacked planes hit the towers and when they collapsed. The times that the other planes hit the Pentagon and crashed in Pennsylvania were also observed with silence.

One by one, loved ones read aloud the names of the 2,977 killed on Sept. 11 — those who perished in New York, as well as the people who died at the Pentagon and in rural Pennsylvania. The names of those killed in the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center were also read.

As family members read the names of their loved ones, they called out personal tributes to the dead, sometimes noting the passage of a decade since they had last been together, or telling them about milestones they had missed in those years.

"I can't believe it's been 10 years since I saw your smile or heard your voice," Lucy Loguidice said to her sister, Catherine. "You will forever be in our hearts."

"We love you and miss you," James Giaccone said to his brother, Joseph. "It's 10 years, but it's still not easy."

In one of the most heartbreaking moments, young Nicholas Gorki told the father he never met -- because his mother was pregnant with him on 9/11 -- that he wished they could have had time together.

"I love you, Father. I love you for loving the idea of having me," he said. "You gave me the gift of life and I wish you could be here to enjoy it with me."

Stephanie DeSimone told her father: "There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you."

"I wish you could see me now," Jalen Glenn said to his dad, Harry Glenn. "I try every day to make you proud."

President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush also took part in the memorial ceremony, each giving a reading.

Obama recited Psalm 46, which reads: "God is our refuge and strength. He dwells in his city, does marvelous things and says, be still and know that I am God."

Families of the lost were able to see the memorial for the first time Sunday. They sought out the names of their loved ones, at times weeping over the inscriptions. Some made paper rubbings, and others stuck roses and flags into the letters.

Many whose loved ones never had remains recovered said the memorial brings a new place of solace for them to visit.

"Now that there's a memorial, we have somewhere to go," said Christine Box, whose brother, Gary, was among the 343 firefighters killed. His remains were never identified.

The names of those killed are inscribed in bronze around square pools that evoke the footprints of the towers.

Here is a timeline of the 2001 attack.

Complete coverage of the anniversary here.

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