9/11 Anniversary: Around the country, Americans pause to remember
The nation commemorated the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with moments of silence and a determination to carry on. In New York, the families of those lost visited the 9/11 Memorial for the first time.
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In Pictures A Day of Remembrance: Honoring 9/11
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“For months now we’ve been preparing all the agencies, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, all of our intelligence folks have been pulling threats, making sure we understood what potential threats could be out there.”
The president asked all Americans to “keep their eyes open” but go about “what you were going to do anyway.”
As of Sunday afternoon there were no reports of any attacks.
Nationally, the television networks focused much of their effort on the New York ceremony. Many of the readings were from the Bible. For example, early in the program, Mr. Obama read the 46th Psalm, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who was mayor during the attacks, read from Ecclesiastes 3: “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
At the same time, some members of the families addressed those at the ceremony. As was clear from the short commentary by Debra Epps, sister of Christopher Epps who worked on the 98th floor of the towers, healing is difficult.
“Not one holiday, birthday has gone by that my four sisters, brother, and I don’t think about him.” But, Ms. Epps said, she has managed to cope with the help of others. “People really do catch you when you fall. Christopher would have really loved knowing that the love he gave to others was given back to us in his name.”
On Monday, the 9/11 Memorial will officially open to the public. The Sunday event was only open to the families and friends of the victims.
As she left the commemoration, Jessica Ramsaroop, who lost her brother Stephen, said she felt the memorial with its waterfalls “was such a peaceful place.”
Despite the peace, Ms. Ramsaroop, who drove to New York from Toronto, said she did not feel as if the memorial provided her with the closure she needs. The body of Mr. Ramsaroop, a Port Authority policeman, was never found.
“If I had a body, I think it would provide me with closure,” she said.
However, families can find the names of their loved ones engraved in metal along the sides of the giant reflecting pools that line the footprint of where the towers used to be. The incised and stenciled name allowed Lenny Jr., the son of fireman Lenny Ragaglia, to use a crayon to trace his dad’s name on a sheet of paper.
“Now, this will have to be our cemetery,” said Debbie, the sister of the fallen firefighter. “For the rest of our lives we will be coming here.”
As she walked away from the memorial, Katie Murphy of Boston said she felt a sense of “serenity” that helps to ease the pain of losing her brother, Charles Murphy, who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, a Wall Street firm that lost 658 employees.
“I love the movement of the water in the waterfalls,” she said as she walked with four other family members. “The Memorial is calm and serene – something Charlie never was,” she said while the rest of the Murphy clan nodded in agreement. “He loved life.”