There’s also a way for the Long Islanders to reflect on the day quietly during ceremonies marking the 21st anniversary of 9/11.
In the city of Babylon there is a memorial marking the chronology of the tragic events. Each column represents the timestamp for that day.
Mary O’Hara prayed for all who died at the Babylon Memorial on September 11, 2001. She personally likes to recall the day with the calming sounds of the ocean, she says.
“It’s a very peaceful place and very well designed for that purpose. It’s unobtrusive and quiet,” says O’Hara.
Others in Nassau County say they prefer self-reflection and respect.
Massapequa’s Kevin McCarthy is in the NYPD Emerald Society Pipe Band. He says the pain of losing so many is like an open wound that still hasn’t healed 21 years later.
“It seems like a year ago to me, and I lost a lot of people I worked with just because of that,” McCarthy says.
Before he will perform at many memorials, he took time out to visit a friend’s grave at Holy Rood Cemetery.
The cemetery has land dedicated to 9/11 victims. There is a statue of the Pieta and a wall there with the names of those who died in Nassau County.
“More and more people will come and see more and more flags being raised,” says Ann Anderson, the cemetery’s associate director.
Another memorial at Nesconset adds each year the names of those who died from 9/11-related illnesses.
For many people, these small memorial sites are the closest to their loved ones.
“It’s just quiet here, and it’s solemn to sit here with all the people here, especially those who died on 9/11,” McCarthy says.