The commemorative flag was at half-staff, 11 candles and bouquets for the town's victims have been carefully placed, but for the first time in 11 years the town of Glen Rock, N.J., did not holding a formal 9/11 memorial service.
Diane Hirschberg, a trustee of the Glen Rock Assistance Council and Endowment, which oversees the town's memorial, said it wasn't a scaling back but rather an evolution in the way the town memorializes the day. The group that decided to forego the traditional ceremony and declare Tuesday a day of "personal reflection."
"I think more and more towns are starting to do something like this although maybe not to the extent we have but I think trend will continue," Glen Rock Mayor John VanKeuren said.
Glen Rock is not the only city scaling back its anniversary commemoration. The memorial service at the World Trade Center site did not feature any speeches or performances, just the annual reading of the names.
"I think some alteration in the ceremony is perfectly appropriate given the amount of time that's gone by," said former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
On the streets Manhattan there was a feeling among some that as time goes on, a sense of normalcy returns.
But while how the victims are remembered may change with time, the heaviness in hearts will not diminish.
"The hole in your heart is there it still feels the same there's no question about that," said Glen Rock's Hirschberg.
Organizers in Glen Rock said this is by no means the end of the formal service. They may bring it back next year depending on community input.