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Remembering the victims as New York, nation mark 21 years since the 9/11 attacks

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21st anniversary of 9/11: Full memorial service, part 1 01:59:09

A somber memorial was held to mark 21 years since the attacks that changed New York forever. 

Check below for the latest updates. 


9/11 ceremony held on Staten Island

Gov. Kathy Hochul attended a ceremony on Staten Island on Sunday evening, honoring nearly 300 of the borough's residents who died on 9/11.

Their names were read out loud at the Postcards Memorial Promenade on Bank Street in the Saint George section of the borough.

Hochul highlighted Staten Island's community of first responders for being committed to lives of service and sacrifice.

"You have to wonder why we lost so many from this smaller borough," Hochul said. "Why did so many people say, 'Yes, I will become a firefighter, I'll become a police officer.' Because there's something here that's special, that strong love of country and patriotism that drew so many to these professions where it's all about selflessness."

9/11 ceremony held honoring nearly 300 victims from Staten Island 00:55

The Postcards Memorial is a permanent outdoor sculpture and it is a sacred place, especially for loved ones who did not receive any remains. It honors the  Staten Island residents killed on 9/11 and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Each victim is remembered with a plaque and the centerline between the two walls points directly at ground zero, referencing the twin towers destroyed on 9/11.

Also, a special musical selection and video tribute was played to mark the 21 years since the attacks.

By Lisa Rozner

Reading of the names continues to evoke pain all these years later

The annual reading of the names ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum was held on Sunday in Lower Manhattan.

CBS2's Dick Brennan was there for the somber remembrance.

It was a day to gather and to grieve, to hold loved ones close, and remember loved ones lost. It was a day a city and a nation stopped to remember.

9/11 families gather for annual reading of the names 02:33

A simple somber ritual was held, the reading of the names.

"My brother, Firefighter Michael Francis Lynch," one of the readers said.

They came to pay tribute to heroes who paid the ultimate price.

"FDNY Battalion Chief Orio Joseph Palmer. Orio, we love you, miss you always and continue to hold you close to our hearts," a family member said.

"My father, Firefighter Gerard Patrick Strang, we love you we miss you and it doesn't get any easier," another said.

Sometimes the words were hard to find.

"Whew ... and to my brother, Alan Upton, we miss you. Twenty one years and, boy, it feels real still," a person said.

Some came with photos and left with with memories, that are literally scratched from a wall.

Time may heal some wounds, but it can't take away the unending pain of the loss of a child.

"To my daughter, Maria Ramirez, Maria, don't know when this weight on my chest is gonna go away," one person said.

It was a time of mourning, but also a day to mark the legacy left by so many.

"Joe, I held your first baby grandson in my arms. You should have been holding him," a family member said.

So many who left home that morning left little ones behind.

"To my father, Charles Gregory John, you were torn out of lives but will forever live in our hearts," a person said.

"My father, Brian Joseph Murphy. Dad, I love you and miss you every day and am grateful for the five years we had together, and I know we would be best friends if you were still here," a son said.

It was a day to pause, reflect, honor those lost, and hold onto their memory.

"The world may forget, but we the families of those who perished will never forget," a person said.

By Dick Brennan

Photos: Remembering 9/11 on the 21st anniversary of the attacks

See photos from the ceremony in the gallery above. 

By CBS New York Team

Ceremony held at the World Trade Center

21st anniversary of 9/11: Full memorial service, part 1 01:59:09

The ceremony began at 8:30 a.m. 

At 8:46 a.m. there was a moment of silence, recalling the time the first plane struck the north tower. 

That was followed by the reading of the names of victims, interrupted by more moments of silence, concluding around 12:30 p.m.

21st anniversary of 9/11: Full memorial service, part 2 02:03:49

This evening, the Tribute in Light will once again cast twin beams high into the sky. 

By CBS New York Team

Detectives Endowment Association president on remembering our heroes

Remembering 9/11: Detectives Endowment Association president on remembering our heroes 01:54

In the years after 9/11, the death toll continued to climb, owing to 9/11-related diseases. 

Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, spoke with CBS2's Christina Fan about the importance of remembering the legacy of 9/11. 

By Christina Fan

Keeping survivors who are suffering and their families in mind

Remembering 9/11: Phil Alvarez says it's important to remember survivors battling disease 02:07

The late Det. Luis Alvarez was a notable champion for health care for 9/11 first responders suffering from related diseases. He died shortly after testifying before Congress about the need to fund the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. 

His brother, Phil Alvarez, spoke with CBS2's Jennifer McLogan about the importance of remembering not just those who died of 9/11, but those who have been battling disease ever since. 

"Also want to remember those that survived. Those that continue to suffer from that day. Once again, ordinary people that are doing extraordinary things every day when they get up. Whether they're sick from that day, whether they're caring for somebody who's sick from that day, I think it's important that we remember them today," he said. 

By Jennifer McLogan

Marcia Kramer recalls emotional FDNY promotion ceremony days after the attacks

Remembering 9/11: Special FDNY promotion ceremony held days after the attack 03:26

Decades after 9/11, the memories of that tragic day are still fresh for so many. 

CBS2's Marcia Kramer recalls the emotional, special FDNY promotion ceremony held days after the attacks. It was necessary, because of the 343 firefighters who were lost. 

During that ceremony, Daniel Nigro was promoted to chief of department. He was replacing the late Pete Ganci. 

Watch the full story in the video above. 

By Marcia Kramer

Survivor Vinny Borst shares his story

As we remember and honor the victims of 9/11, we also remember the survivors. 

There were thousands of people who were in those towers who managed to get out. 


"I can close my eyes and recite that entire day, and actually see it," said survivor Vinny Borst. 

It all comes back to Borst. Each moment playing like a horror movie in his head.

CLICK HERE to read his full story. 

By Dick Brennan

Thousands return to Point Lookout for memorial ceremony

Hempstead hosts Long Island's largest 9/11 memorial ceremony 01:51

On Long Island, thousands returned to Point Lookout in Nassau County. 

That's where, 21 years ago, they watched the attacks on the Twin Towers from a seaside vantage point. 

It's Long Island's largest 9/11 ceremony. 

CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reflected on her experiences on that fateful day. 

She also spoke with Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin, who is hosting the ceremony. 

"I think it's a very difficult day. And we're actually seeing more families of loved ones who lost individuals on 9/11 who come here because they feel comfort, and they feel camaraderie, and they feel the love of all the residents in the town that really cherish being here at this moment to remember those we lost," Clavin said. 

By Jennifer McLogan

Jersey City marks 9/11 with memorial ceremony

Remembering 9/11: Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop full interview 03:01

Across the Hudson, a 9/11 remembrance ceremony is taking place in Jersey City. 

The juxtaposition of the memorial - steel from the original World Trade Center - in the shadow of where the twin towers once stood, the sight of the changed skyline, it takes your breath away, reported CBS2's Alice Gainer. 

On that day, there was a great maritime response. Bridges and tunnels were closed, many were brought to Jersey City by boats and ferries, and they were treated.

Jersey City remembers its nearly 40 residents who died on 9/11 02:46

The names of the Jersey City residents who died on 9/11 are on the memorial. Friends and family members of those killed will be speaking at the Jersey City memorial. 

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop was one of the many people whose life was changed that day. In the days after 9/11, so many people stepped up. Fulop put his career plans on hold and joined the Marines. 

By Alice Gainer

Marcia Kramer on being one of the first reporters allowed to enter Ground Zero

Remembering 9/11: Marcia Kramer on covering the aftermath from Ground Zero 03:36

Decades later, the memories of that tragic day are still fresh for so many. 

Our own Marcia Kramer covered the attacks. She was one of the first reporters allowed to enter Ground Zero after the attack. 

She discussed with Mary Calvi and Chris Wragge what it was like that day, and her interactions with various politicians who were present. 

By Marcia Kramer

Alice Greenwald, president of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, on the institution's mission

Remembering 9/11: Alice Greenwald of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum 04:15

It's always the feeling of "it feels like yesterday." 

The emotions come right back to you.

It's a somber and sad day in New York.

But it is also a chance to look back. 

CBS2's Dick Brennan spoke with Alice Greenwald, president of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and what it was like for her to bring her grandson to the museum. 

"This was, in my mind, the single most important tour that I would ever give," Greenwald said - despite the fact that she's given tours to heads of state. "My grandson's 9 years old. He's of that generation that has no memory of 9/11. And this is really the transition that we're all in at this moment. We have those of us with the memory and a generation coming up - some of them are now in their 20s, by the way - who don't know what we know about that day. And we have a responsibility to transmit that history and what we took away from that event. 

By Dick Brennan

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell recalls 9/11

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell recalls her 9/11 experience 01:18

9/11 is one of those moments in history where all of us remember where we were and what we were doing. That's true for NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell as well. She told CBS2's Christina Fan about it.

By Christina Fan

Families gather at 9/11 Memorial Plaza

Remebering 9/11: Families gather to mark 21 years since terror attacks 02:35

Silence will fall again over those gathered at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza as New York remembers it's darkest day.

During the annual commemoration ceremony, the names of the thousands of lives lost will be read out loud.

Behind each reading, insurmountable grief. 

Almost 15 percent of the names represent first responders.

Port Authority Police lost 37 officers.

The NYPD - 23 cops.

The FDNY lost 343 members.

In the following years, the death toll has only continued to climb as thousands of first responders died from 9/11 related illnesses.

For children who lost their parents in the attack, the loss is particularly painful.

Charlie Greene's father was a passenger on one of the hijacked planes.

"There hasn't been a day since, since 2001 that I haven't wished I could hear my dad's voice and his stories," Greene said. 

The Honorable George Pataki was governor on that fateful Tuesday morning.

"There was a great deal of fear about the future. And just being able to walk the streets and show that I had confidence we would get through this, the people of New York had confidence that we'd get through this, I think was very important," Pataki said. "And when it comes to consoling the family members, you know, the tragedy that they experienced, to lose your husband, your wife, your two children, your parents. I drew strength from those families. Because for all their loss, their courage, their strength, their understanding that we had to stand together, was something that, really, I think inspired a nation." 

Sunday's memorial will serve as a focal point for people feeling the heartache that will never go away.

Throughout the ceremony, six moments of silence will be observed, marking when each of the World Trade Center towers was struck and fell, and the times corresponding to the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of UA Flight 93.

The Tribute in Light will also shine over Lower Manhattan Sunday night.  

By Christina Fan
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