Hundreds gather at Point Lookout, Long Island each year, to remember all the Americans that perished in the terrorist attack on 9/11.
The city of Long Island lost more than 500 people in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
This year’s memorial, like every year, was a sad one.
One participant, Susan Hutchins, attends the event every year from Point Lookout. Hutchins’s 25-year-old son, Kevin, was one of the many that died in the attack. Kevin worked on the 89th floor of the South Tower. The last time she saw her son was when he left for work that morning.
“I come here every year instead of going to the city because I find the city very overwhelming,” says Hutchins. “Kevin had just turned 25, not even a week before 9/11, so this was a real punch in the gut for us.”
Hutchins, along with countless others, live by the words “Never forget”, and she hopes others won’t either, no matter how great the pain.
“Life is not like a book,” she admits. “You can’t just skip the chapters you don’t like because they make you cry.”
Retired New York Fire Department Lieutenant Michael O’Connell was also in attendance at Point Lookout. He is scarred with his experiences as a probationary firefighter when 9/11 happened.
“And then here you go, four months later, you’re hit with the biggest job the fire department’s ever seen,” recalls O’Connell. “And I worked the pile for the days and weeks that followed, only to get sick like seven years later.”
During the ceremony at Point Lookout, participants walk down to the water’s edge, just like they did on September 11. From this location, they could see the towers burning. Now, all that remains of the World Trade Center and their relatives is a 30-foot piece of steel with their names engraved on it.
Residents throw white carnations into the channel, which drift towards Ground Zero, just 24 miles away.
With the company of their mourning town, participants find comfort in the heroism and patriotism their loved ones showed on that day. In this, they teach a generation too young to recall the events of what hope is.
They remember “both the terrorism, but also the heroism that emerged from that day,” Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said.
[H/T abc 7]