HEMPSTEAD, Nassau County (WABC) — Dozens of Long Island residents gathered at Point Lookout on Monday morning for a solemn service commemorating September 11.
Nearly a quarter of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks lived on Long Island.
The annual beachfront service pays tribute to the thousands who lost their lives in the 9/11 terror attacks. Survivors and grieving families joined together in the morning to honor, reflect, and remember.
Flags bearing names were stuck in the sand as many found peace by the ocean. Others found solace at Hempstead’s nearby 9/11 memorial wall.
Diana DeVito, of Merrick, lost her father, 56-year-old William Steckman, on 9/11. He was an engineer working on the transmitter on the North Tower.
“He was on the 104th floor of the North Tower, he worked the overnight shift and for whatever reason, his boss asked to stay that day so he really shouldn’t have been there,” DeVito said.
Each victim has a unique story.
Sheryl Hughes of Long Beach lost her husband, former FDNY Firefighter William Hughes, last year to a 9/11-related illness.
His name was one of 43 recently added to the FDNY headquarters’ wall of remembrance.
“He loved his job, he loved his job, when he retired he said ‘I miss it like oxygen,'” Hughes said.
But loved ones say that’s not all he loved.
“He loved Sheryl like oxygen, he loved Sheryl, he loved his wife more than he loved anything in in the world,” friend Katherine Stein said.
Thousands of devastating paths now all lead to the same goal.
“I want to remember all the people that we lost,” said Ann Sullivan.
There is a 30-foot steel beam from the Twin Towers along with a memorial wall to offer a constant place of solace for those still grieving.
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