Tens of thousands of members of the New York City Police Department took time Sunday to remember those in the department who gave their lives on September 11th.
Officers from the 13th precinct house and Emergency Services Unit squad 1 gathered outside their building in Gramercy, Manhattan on Sunday to salute their comrades who were killed on 9/11.
The names of the 23 officers were read. During the brief ceremony, officers who died after 9/11 because of illnesses contracted at the site were also honored.
First responders were not invited to the main ceremony this year at the World Trade Center. City officials said there was limited space, so small ceremonies were held around the city.
"It is a sign of respect for our uniform. It's a sign of respect for the heroes who went before us and it is also a message to those that want to take down what we do. You attack one of us, you attack all of us and we don't forget," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch.
Besides remembering, many officers had to work. The elite emergency services unit had to be in place before sun up to provide security for dignitaries and the victims' families.
Many of the officers killed on 9/11 were from the unit.
"I wear this bracelet that was given to me when I retired. It has the names of the 14 ESU officers that died. Unfortunately seven of them haven't been recovered. So I wear this bracelet not to remember them but to honor them," said retired NYPD ESU detective Ken Winkler.
Although Sunday was a time to grieve the loss of loved ones and close friends, for many who gathered, it also gave them a chance to celebrate life and remember the good times.
"It has kind of been our honor to come back here and tell the story of the guys that are lost every year. They can't be here to tell their stories, so we are here for them," said retired NYPD ESU officer John Lambkin.
"We were here also to remember some happy moments in the lives of those people. And I think those are the memories we will carry with us for the rest of our lives," said Pastor Leslie Ivers of the Church of the Epiphany.
They say the image of the Twin Towers falling will fade as a new tower rises, but the great memories of loved one will last a lifetime.