New York — Americans marked the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks Tuesday in familiar but subdued ceremonies that put grieving families ahead of politicians and suggested it’s time to move on after a decade of remembrance.
As in past years, thousands gathered at the World Trade Center site in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., to read the names of nearly 3,000 victims killed in the worst terror attack in U.S. history.
But many felt that last year’s 10th anniversary was an emotional turning point for public mourning of the attacks. For the first time, elected officials weren’t speaking at the ceremony, which often allowed them a solemn turn in the spotlight, but raised questions about the public and private Sept. 11. Fewer families attended the ceremonies this year, and some cities canceled their remembrances altogether.
“I feel much more relaxed” this year, said Jane Pollicino, who came to ground zero Tuesday morning to mourn her husband, who was killed at the trade center. “After the ninth anniversary, that next day, you started building up to the 10th year. This feels a lot different, in that regard. It’s another anniversary that we can commemorate in a calmer way, without that 10-year pressure.”
Meanwhile, Marisol Torres clutched a photo of her cousin, New York firefighter Manuel DelValle Jr., as she walked into the memorial plaza in lower Manhattan for the somber ceremony. Torres told CBS New York station WCBS-TV the ceremony is as tough as it was after the first year.
“I wish I could say it gets easier, but it doesn’t,” said Torres. “I think you learn to live with your grief so in some sense it gets easier but you sort of learn to carry that around with you.”
DelValle was 32 years old when he was killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center.