Remembering 9/11: Long Islanders vow to 'never forget' at memorial service

Even the rain couldn’t wash away the tears. 

Olivia Vilardi-Perez was in orchestra class back on September 11, 2001. Her dad, Anthony was on the 103rd floor of the North Tower. He was one of nearly 500 Long Islanders who lost their lives on that fateful day.

"It’s kind of my time of peace and solitude even though it’s not a peaceful day," she said. 

Heavy downpours didn’t make it any easier for the hundreds who showed up at the 9/11 beachside memorial service in Point Lookout. It was standing room only as people reflected and remembered. 

"Hate brought the buildings down but actually love brought us together," said Harold Brown.  

The service was sentimental for those who responded in the days after the terror attacks.


Remembering 9/11: New York City marks 22 years since terrorist attacks

People are gathering at memorials, firehouses, city halls, campuses and elsewhere to observe the 22nd anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

"Even 22 years later it means a lot to me to be here," said Abe Peller of West Hempstead. 

Gladys Fonseca remembers watching in horror from the building across the street.  

"I consider myself a lucky one because I had friends, coworkers that passed away," she said. 


Remembering 9/11: ‘A cleansing of our souls’ for retired FDNY firefighter

For those who walked the grounds in uniform that Tuesday, like William Sollin, just after the buildings were reduced to rubble, the anniversary of the attack is a day to remember the cost of fulfilling a calling.

The number of first responders who have died from 9/11-related illnesses nearly equals the number of firefighters lost during the attacks themselves. Joseph Hatzelman is remembering his dad who passed three years ago. 

"A lot of these guys and women they spent their lives saving people," he said. 

People placed carnations at the base of a twisted beam of Trade Center steel as a reminder, even 22 years later to never forget.