Memorial provides comfort for victims' families, but the pain of September 11th still lingers
Thousands of relatives of 9/11 victims turn out for the annual memorial ceremony. Although the attacks are slipping further and further into history, for those relatives the emotional pain remains. Michael Herzenberg has the story.
"The pain just never really goes away," said Nicole Cruikshank, who lost her boyfriend Robbie Zampieri.
Nicole Cruikshank lost her boyfriend Robert Zampieri on the 97th floor of the north tower on September 11th.
She says she finds some comfort in this somber ceremony.
"I found it like a really helpful experience so I wanted to come again this year," she said.
"It kicks up everything again," said Robin Peterson, who lost her husband William.
She had stayed away for a while.
Initially, she attended the annual ceremony every year to honor her husband William Peterson, who worked At Marsh and McClennan high atop the North Tower.
When the museum here was completed, she decided to stop coming because she knew her husband would not be forgotten. But this year, she returned.
"I want to see where the new family room is and how they are honoring my husband."
About a half dozen United Airlines pilots attended to remember the crew members of the two United Flights that crashed into the Trade Center. Fabian Garcia knew one of those pilots, Captain Jason Dahl.
"He was our training instructor at our Denver flight Academy," said Fabian Garcia. "Jason was loved by everybody as were all the crew members"
"It never gets any easier it seems like yesterday to me," said Barry Zelman, who lost his brother.
Barry Zelman lost his only brother, Kenneth, in the north tower and never misses the memorial service.
"I feel closer to my brother when I'm here," Barry said. "That's where he took his last breath so it's where I want to be."
It was the breaths that FDNY Lt. Mario Bastidas took down here that eventually claimed his life. The paramedic died from a 9/11 related cancer just four months ago. This is his wife's first memorial service as a widow.
"For me it's very difficult there are still more heroes dying," said Penelope Bastidas.
Roughly 160 members of the FDNY have died from sickness related to 9/11 and at least 130 members of the NYPD.
The September 11th victims compensation fund has approved more than 17,000 people for compensation, harmed by the attacks physically or mentally.