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Thousands Attend TOH 9/11 Sunrise Memorial

Ten-year anniversary commemorations of the 9/11 attacks were held across the nation Sunday, but the heartfelt ceremony at Point Lookout was among the most touching of them all.

Emotion filled the air as grieving families, along with rescue workers from New York City and local town officials, gathered to honor the memories of the 2,983 innocent lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

The ceremony, which drew a crowd of more than 1,500 people, was led by Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray. “The ceremony has been at the beach every single year,” said Murray, in an address to the sizable audience on hand. “This is where people went to spontaneously on that terrible day, and they looked westward at the burning towers.”

A special memorial was set up on the beach, featuring a 30-foot-long steel beam that was preserved from the World Trade Center wreckage. Another focal point of the memorial was an aluminum replica of the Twin Towers, which was filled with American flags, white roses and pictures of the 9/11 victims. “The memorial ceremony was very emotional,” said Merrick resident Matt Baard, who attended the event on his way to work at nearby Lido Beach. “I think it was important to stop by and pay my respects, and the presence of the steel beam from the towers really made the tragedy touch closer to home. I can’t believe it has already been 10 years since that terrible day.”

Another Long Island resident said that memorial ceremonies like the one Sunday will help future generations preserve the memory of the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks. “I was only 15 years old on 9/11/01,” said Plainview resident Michelle Genzel, who came to Point Lookout in a show of support to a family friend. “Now that I’m an adult, the tragedy hits me even harder. I saw a lot of children at the memorial today, so I think ceremonies like this will help young people on Long Island gain a better understanding of the events that took place on that horrible day 10 years ago.”