Many of those who read the names at the memorial were children, born after the attacks or too young to remember friends and family who died. Ms Reina, whose husband worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond trading company that lost 658 employees in the attack, was pregnant on September 11. Her son is part of a whole generation that was born in the shadow of this day and only received his inheritance second-hand.
Ariana and Briana Mendoza, 13, traveled from the Bronx to Lower Manhattan with their sister, Dephaney, to pay their respects. “I was only 2 years old when it happened,” said Dephaney, 22. “But I learned a lot about it, and now I’m teaching them.”
Nearby, Luis Gonzalez, 41, of Staten Island, gazed at One World Trade Center, the tower built on the ruins of Ground Zero. He was carrying a poster of the old Twin Towers which now hangs in his bedroom. “I’m going out out of respect,” he said.
Many more went to smaller but no less emotional events across the country for similar reasons. At the Chicago Stair Climbing event, Marisa Price, a firefighter from Westmont, Ill., Said she felt a deep connection to the rescuers who gave their lives in the rescue efforts.
“Many of them were my age at the time and made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Ms. Price, 25. “It’s something we’re all prepared to do but don’t want to do.”
In one of the day’s landmark college football games, the Ohio State University Marching Band paid a patriotic halftime tribute, moving through formations including an American flag, the Statue of Liberty and a bald eagle.
Commemorations were also held around the world. Outside Buckingham Palace in London, during the changing of the guard, the Guards Marching Band performed “The Star-Spangled Banner”, as it had done after September 11, 2001. At the headquarters of the NATO in Brussels, the Secretary General stood in front of a twisted piece of metal in the World Trade Center for a minute of silence.