9/11 anniversary marked with somber tributes - New York News

9/11 anniversary marked with somber tributes

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK - As bells tolled solemnly, Americans marked the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on Wednesday with the reading of the names, moments of silence and serene music that have become tradition.

At a morning ceremony on the 2-year-old memorial plaza at the site of the World Trade Center, relatives recited the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died when hijacked jets crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa., as well as the 1993 trade center bombing victims' names.

In Washington, President Barak Obama, joined by first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden and members of the White House staff, walked out to the South Lawn at 8:46 a.m. -- the moment the first plane struck the south tower in New York. At the site in lower Manhattan, friends and families silently held up photos of the deceased. Others wept.

"Daddy, I miss you so much, and I think about you every day," Christina Aceto said of her father, Richard Anthony Aceto. "You were more than just my daddy, you were my best friend."

Bells tolled to mark the second plane hitting the second tower, and the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon. Near the memorial plaza, police barricades were blocking access to the site, even as life around the World Trade Center looked like any other morning, with workers rushing to their jobs and construction cranes looming over the area.

"As time passes and our family grows, our children remind us of you," Angilic Casalduc said of her mother, Vivian Casalduc. "We miss you."

Name-reading, wreath-laying and other tributes also will be held at the Pentagon and at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville while the commemoration unfolds at ground zero, where the mayor who has helped orchestrate the observances from their start watched for his last time in office. And saying nothing.

"No matter how many years pass, this time comes around each year -- and it's always the same," said Karen Hinson of Seaford, N.Y., who lost her 34-year-old brother, Michael Wittenstein, a Cantor Fitzgerald employee.

"My brother was never found, so this is where he is for us," she said as she arrived for the ceremony with her family early Wednesday.

Loved ones milled around the memorial site, making rubbings of names, putting flowers by the names of victims and weeping, arm-in-arm. Former Gov. George Pataki, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and others were in attendance. Continuing a decision made last year, no politicians will speak, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Over his years as mayor and chairman of the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum, Bloomberg has sometimes tangled with victims' relatives, religious leaders and other elected officials over an event steeped in symbolism and emotion. But his administration has largely succeeded at its goal of keeping the commemoration centered on the attacks' victims and their families and relatively free of political image-making.

"Joe, we honor you today and all those lost on Sept. 11," said Kathleen O'Shea, whose nephew Joseph Gullickson was a firefighter in Brooklyn. "Everyone sends their love and asks that you continue to watch over us all, especially your wife."

Memorial organizers expect to take primary responsibility for the ceremony next year and say they plan to continue concentrating the event on victims' loved ones, even as the forthcoming museum creates a new, broader framework for remembering 9/11.

"As things evolve in the future, the focus on the remembrance is going to stay sacrosanct," memorial President Joe Daniels said.

Hinson said she would like the annual ceremony to be "more low-key, more private" as the years go by.

The 12th anniversary also arrives with changes coming at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, where officials gathered Tuesday to herald the start of construction on a visitor center. At the Pentagon, plans call for a morning ceremony for victims' relatives and survivors of the attacks and an afternoon observance for Pentagon workers.

Around the world, thousands of volunteers have pledged to do good deeds, honoring an anniversary that was designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009.

When Bloomberg and then-Gov. George Pataki announced the plans for the first anniversary in 2002, the mayor said the "intent is to have a day of observances that are simple and powerful."

His role hasn't always been comfortable. When the ceremony was shifted to nearby Zuccotti Park in 2007 because of rebuilding at the trade center site, some victims' relatives threatened to boycott the occasion. The lead-up to the 10th anniversary brought pressure to invite more political figures and to include clergy in the ceremony.

By next year's anniversary, Bloomberg will be out of office, and the museum is expected to be open beneath the memorial plaza.

While the memorial honors those killed, the museum is intended to present a broader picture of 9/11, including the experiences of survivors and first responders.

But the organizers expect they "will always keep the focus on the families on the anniversary," Daniels said. That focus was clear as relatives gathered last September on the tree-laden plaza, where a smaller crowd was gathering Wednesday -- only friends and family of the victims were allowed.

Bruni Sandolval carried a large photo of childhood friend Nereida DeJesus, a victim.

"We grew up together on the Lower East Side and I come every year with her family," she said. "Coming here is peaceful in a way."

Denise Matuza, who lost her husband on Sept. 11, said people ask her why she still comes to the service with her three sons.

"It doesn't make us feel good to stay home," she said. Her husband called after the towers were struck. "He said a plane hit the building, they were finding their way out, he'd be home in a little while. I just waited and waited," she said.

"A few days later I found an email he had sent that they couldn't get out."

------

Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik and Jim Fitzgerald in New York and Nedra Pickler in Washington contributed to this report.

------

Follow Jennifer Peltz at http://twitter.com/jennpeltz
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
  • Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:08:03 GMT
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.
  • Bratton: 'not happy'

    NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bridge

    NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bridge

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:48:41 GMT
    The NYPD says they have identified the suspects for the major security breach that had white flags replace the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City, according to the New York Post. Police say they only know the suspects by nicknames, not their legitimate names. They are working on getting their names in order to bring the suspects in for questioning. The Post says nearly three dozen detectives were on the case. 
    The NYPD says they have identified the suspects for the major security breach that had white flags replace the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City, according to the New York Post. Police say they only know the suspects by nicknames, not their legitimate names. They are working on getting their names in order to bring the suspects in for questioning. The Post says nearly three dozen detectives were on the case. 

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices