The vigil was reflective and at times truly heartbreaking. The names of those from the local community who lost their lives were read aloud, and the air was heavy with the loss of that terrible day and the memories of each individual experience.
“It feels so good to know people support you,” said Linda Maurer, who lost her sister, Jill Maurer-Campbell. “People expect you to forget and move on, to see all these people out here supporting you is nice.”
In the crowd there was a deep connection and understanding that remembrance of such a painful experience was shared by all.
The most gut-wrenching moment of the entire evening was when the entire crowd turned to face the tribute lights, which were visible from Ground Zero. The two giant beams of light reached toward the heavens in place of a once iconic monument, causing tears.
However, the memorial service was also about hope, strength, and the courage to carry on. The music used to accent the memorial was reflective and uplifting with songs such as “Hero” by Mariah Carey and “Proud to Be an American” by Lee Greenwood.