Family members of the nearly 3,000 victims killed on September 11, 2001 gathered in Lower Manhattan Tuesday morning to mark 11 years since the devastating terror attacks.
In contrast to last year's milestone 10th anniversary commemoration, the gathering was more intimate and focused on the reading of the names of the victims.
Moments of silence were held at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m., 9:59 p.m., 10:03 a.m. and 10:28 a.m., to mark the minutes when the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked, United Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and when the Twin Towers collapsed.
Elected officials, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were in attendance but did not speak at the ceremony.
September 11th Memorial President Joe Daniels said the goal was to honor the victims in a way free of politics.
"This day never gets easier. The sad part for me is that a lot of people just...we go on with our life, but to stop and remember and reflect, you know all these people that perished," said one 9/11 victim relative.
"You know it's nice to see some progress down here. We're hoping the museum will be open soon. But, you know it's a really sad day. It's a really sad day," said another 9/11 victim relative.
The ceremony also featured bagpipers and drummers and the singing of the National Anthem by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City.
The "Tribute In Light" once again illuminated the city skyline Tuesday night.
The two beams of light recreate the image of the Twin Towers.
The illuminated memorial reaches four miles into the sky and is visible within a 60-mile radius on a clear night.
On the national front, President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney agreed to suspend all advertising for the day in honor of the anniversary.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama observed a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House before attending the memorial ceremony at the Pentagon.
Vice President Joe Biden spoke in Shanksville, Pa. where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed.
Romney addressed the National Guard in Reno, Nevada.
Meantime, after a year-long impasse, construction is set to resume by the end of the month on the September 11th Museum.
Bloomberg and Cuomo announced a deal Monday to restart construction.
The Port Authority and the Memorial Foundation were previously at odds over which agencies would pay for the museum and operate it.
Under the deal, the Port Authority's share of the cost would be reduced by about $150 million. $17 million of that would be paid up front by the memorial foundation.
The deal also gives the Port Authority more control over the museum.
"Everybody understood that we had to get this done. My conversations with Governor Christie and Governor Cuomo for the last year, there was never an issue as to whether we were, should do it or whether it would happen - there was disagreements, or questions I think is even fairer about where the monies would come from," Bloomberg said on Tuesday morning.
Both the foundation and the Port Authority say they hope the museum will open by the end of next year.
Also on Monday, the National Institute for Occupational Safety announced the government will expand coverage of the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to include 50 types of cancer.
Cancer was originally left off the list of illnesses covered by the law, which provides compensation for September 11th responders and residents who have become sick since the attacks.
But after years of lobbying, an advisory committee recommended cancer be added.
Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand lobbied for the change.
They called it a huge step forward for those suffering from cancer and other illnesses.