NEW YORK (AP) - Holding photos and reading names of loved ones lost 16 years ago, 9/11 victimsâ€™ relatives marked the anniversary of the attacks at ground zero on Monday with a solemn and personal ceremony.
Every Sept. 11 since the date of the deadliest terror attack on American soil, Rob Fazio has come to the place where his father, Ronald Carl Fazio, and thousands of others died.
â€śIâ€™ll come every year for the rest of my life,â€ť the son said. â€śItâ€™s where I get my strength.â€ť
At least 1,000 family members, survivors, rescuers and officials were gathered as the ceremony at the World Trade Center began with a moment of silence and tolling bells. Then, relatives began reading out the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed when terrorist-piloted planes hit the trade center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, hurling America into a new consciousness of the threat of global terrorism.
Some said they couldnâ€™t believe 16 years had passed since a tragedy that â€śstill feels like yesterday,â€ť as Corina La Touche put it as she honored her father, Jeffrey La Touche.
To others, it was an occasion to thank first responders and members of the military, to express concern for those affected by Hurricane Irma as it continued its destructive path as a tropical storm, or to plead for a return to the sense of unity they felt after the attacks.
â€śOur country came together that day. And it did not matter what color you were, or where you were from,â€ť said a tearful Magaly Lemagne, who lost her brother, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Officer David Lemagne. She implored people to â€śstop for a moment and remember all the people who gave their lives that day.
â€śMaybe then we can put away our disagreements and become one country again.â€ť
Added Michael Buhse, who lost his brother, Patrick: â€śWe will never forget - and we will never forgive.â€ť