Quiet memorials become peaceful refuge for Long Islanders on 9/11
Amid the public ceremonies marking the 21st anniversary of 9/11, there are also ways Long Islanders can quietly reflect on the day.
The Town of Babylon has a memorial with a timeline of the tragic events. Each pillar represents a timestamp of the day.
Mary O'Hara prayed for all those lost on Sept. 11, 2001 at the Babylon memorial. She says she personally prefers to remember the day with the soft sound of the ocean.
"It is a very peaceful place, and it is very well-designed for that purpose - it is unobtrusive and quiet," O'Hara says.
Others in Nassau County say they prefer to reflect by themselves and pay their respects.
Kevin McCarthy, of Massapequa, is in the NYPD Emerald Society Pipe Band. He says the pain of losing so many is like an open wound that still has not healed after 21 years.
"It seems like a year ago for me - just the impact - so many I worked with are gone," McCarthy says.
He will be playing at many memorials but took the time out earlier to visit his friends' gravesites at the Cemetery of the Holy Rood.
There is a dedicated piece of land at the cemetery for 9/11 victims. A statue of the Pieta and a wall bearing the names of those who died from Nassau County can be found there.
"We will see more and more people coming, more and more flags being put out," says Ann Anderson, associate director of cemeteries.
Another memorial in Nesconset has names added to it every year of those who have died from 9/11-related illnesses.
For many, these small memorial sites are the ones that bring them closest to their loved ones.
"It is just quiet here, and it is solemn to just sit here with all these people here, especially the ones that died on 9/11," McCarthy says.
For a full list of quiet memorials on Long Island, click here.