For those who lost family and friends on September 11th, Saturday's ceremony was particularly emotional. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
It's been nine years since that horrific day. But family members who gathered Saturday say coming to Lower Manhattan to mark the anniversary still brings it all rushing back.
"It's sort of like reliving the moment. There's no closure, it's an open wound," said Marilyn Velazquez, who lost her father in the attacks.
"I was so moved by, just the depth of the pain that is still so evident. Nine years later and
really I think it'll never change," said Rosa Leonetti who lost her brother-in-law in the attacks.
"It's still hard, ya know. It's just like yesterday," said Terence King, who lost his brother-in-law in the attacks.
Family members weren't the only ones who gravitated to Lower Manhattan. Hundreds of onlookers packed the plaza across from Zuccotti Park to catch a glimpse of the commemoration ceremony. Others gravitated to St. Paul's Chapel across the street from the World Trade Center site, which served as a refuge for September 11th recovery workers and rang a bell to mark the first moment of silence.
There were also those with an agenda to promote. Some family members said the mosque demonstrations in particular were an unwelcome intrusion on what should be a peaceful day of remembrance.
"It does bother me. I think those people should leave us alone today," said Peppi Lachhman, who lost his brother in the attacks.
"It's not about mosque. It's about people who were lost today. It's about cherishing their memory. That's all its about today," said Ramon Velazquez, who lost his father in the attacks.
There was also some comfort to be taken in the signs of visible progress on the site. Though many family members wondered what took so long, others said no matter what's built, the trade center site will remain forever a mass graveyard -- a final resting place of their loved ones.
"No matter how many years go by. This is where we will come. No matter what they build here. This is our place to come and pay our respects," said Linda Torrens, who lost her cousin in the attacks.
This will be the last September 11th anniversary where the trade center site is still closed to the public, as the memorial plaza is scheduled to open in time for the 10th anniversary next year.