It has been said that memorials are meant as much to comfort the living as to remember the dead, and many September 11th family members said they took great comfort from the 9/11 memorial that has been created at the World Trade Center site. NY1's Vivian Lee filed the following report.
Rachel Santillan and her family have attended every 9/11 anniversary in the city since the attacks that killed her two cousins. Her family never got DNA proof that both perished when the Twin Towers collapsed, so even the 10th anniversary provided little closure.
"We still can't believe they're really gone. Maria and Judy, we know you're up there in heaven and care about us," Santillan said. "Thanks for watching over us."
They were among the thousands of family members allowed into the World Trade Center site to witness the 10th anniversary commemoration. Some said a decade's passing has helped.
"To see the beauty of everything they did there at Ground Zero, with the fountain and the trees, and to get together, to just think about the loved ones we lost that day," said Aurea Wangerien, who lost her sister in the terror attacks.
As they left the ceremony, family members seemed comforted by the look and feel of the memorial, although it is still unfinished.
For Janice Taub and her brother Robert Strauch, who lost their brother George Strauch on September 11th, the memorial struck the right tone in its design.
"It was very dramatic, the reflecting pools, where you look in and you can't see the bottom, and the water just flowing into oblivion," said Robert Strauch.
"They rushed to get it done in time," said Taub. "We were disappointed we couldn't get into museum because it's not ready, but the site itself with the reflecting pools is gorgeous."
The still-grieving siblings said closure for them is elusive, as they also never received proof their brother George is dead.
For Danny Clark, who lost his brother Tommy in the South Tower, the 10th anniversary ceremony was uplifting.
"The site is so well done. Hats off to everyone who designed it and did all the hard work. It's really, it's an unbelievable place," said Clark.
Still others said after years of refusing to attend anniversary ceremonies in the city, and years of becoming upset with media coverage of them, this was one observance they just could not miss.