Visitors thronged to the 9/11 Memorial in preparation for Friday's commemoration of the terror attack that killed 2,977 in 2001.
Similar to the last 13 years, there will be a name reading ceremony to honor those who died in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
“I understand it is something that we should never stop doing,” said Kathleen Kruccek, visiting the memorial from Pennsylvania.
The commemoration event begins at 8:46 a.m. with a moment of silence marking the time the first plane struck the North Tower.
The ceremony will continue with five more moments of silence in between name readings, observing the moments when the other planes hit the South Tower, the Pentagon and the Flight 93 crash, as well as when the Towers fell.
Music will be played while the names are being read and houses of worship will toll their bells throughout the city. The names of those lost during the 1993 World Trade Center bombing will also be read.
While many visiting the memorial snapped selfies and felt a sense of pride in it, some feel that the annual ceremony should end.
“I strongly believe they should have stopped reading the names on the 10th anniversary,” said Brian Egan, 59 from the Bronx. “This just drags us to the past and I don’t know if it’s fair to the families. Grieving shouldn’t last 10 years.”
Egan lost 18 friends during the World Trade Center attack. He witnessed when the second plane hit the tower from his downtown office and disaster that happened next.
Some of those gone were childhood friends and many of their names are grouped together in one area of the memorial.
He recalls attending many funerals, even two for one fire lieutenant whose body parts were recovered at different times.
Despite the vivid recollection, he feels that it’s time to leave the past where it belongs without forgetting those lost and focus on those who need the help today.
“The fact that these guys are dying of cancer [9/11 responders] and being denied proper healthcare, that’s a shame and national disgrace,” Egan said.
Regardless of his feelings toward the politics behind it all, he plans to visit the Museum eventually and looks over fondly at the reflecting pool memorial.
“This is a nice tribute to everybody,” Egan said.