Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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Two Years Later, WTC Families' Grief Still As Strong

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Thousands of people from all over the world remembered those they lost in the World Trade Center Attacks. NY1’s Paul Lombardi filed the following story after speaking with family members about where they are, two years after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

James DeBlase keeps his cousin Jimmy close to his heart.

"He was more like a brother to me than a cousin,” DeBlase said. “Very close."

DeBlase came to the memorial ceremony to pay his respects to his cousin, who perished two years ago in the attack on the World Trade Center.

He is one of thousands from all around the world who dropped flowers into the twin pools representing both the north and south towers. The water in the pools could symbolize the tears that have been shed since September 11, 2001.

Like many, DeBlase said time heals some wounds, but the scars never fade.

“It was rough, it was tough. It wasn't easy,” he said. “It brought back a lot of memories, some of them good also. You just hope and pray it goes away, but it never does."

Being surrounded by thousands of others who lost loved ones provided comfort for some in a community united through suffering.

“The way it happened, it was so abrupt and it was so tragic and it was so many people, I don't only grieve for my uncle, I grieve for everybody,” said Robin Epps, who lost her uncle in the attacks.

Family members listened as children of the victims read the names.

When asked what her aunt would have though of her today, young Nicollette Oricchio said, “She would have thought I was brave."

Robin Epps said the anniversary is an especially emotional time.

“You get your heart ripped out of your chest all over again,” Epps said. “And even though the hope is almost gone because we know that he hasn’t survived, you still hope in the back of your mind, you always have a little bit of hope."

Some look above for comfort.

"I had a nice sign from God that he's up there so I've got no worries,” said Bill Weaver, who lost his son in the attacks.

Some wear their worries on their faces.

“Two years is like just like another day,” said Mario Anaya, who lost his cousin. “It's the same."

Some said it feels like it happened only yesterday, while others said it feels like a lifetime ago.

A few people NY1 spoke with said time has helped ease their pain, while others said they feel like they'll never be able to get beyond it.

But they all seem to agree that they'll never forget those they lost on September 11.

--Paul Lombardi

For additional 9/11 anniversary coverage, see our WTC Section.

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