Reporting by Eric Shawn
16 years have passed, but it seems as if not one day has gone by.
Once again, family members and officials gathered for the somber and solemn remembrance for those who perished on September 11, 2001.
There were four moments of silence, one each for when the two planes hit the Twin Towers and when the buildings crumbled, and the methodical reading of the names—2.753 souls, some recalled with emotional and deeply personal tributes.
The toll of the radical Islamic terrorist attack continues to this day.
More than 1,000 first responders, volunteers and others have died from cancer and other diseases linked to the toxic fumes and dust according to the World Trade Center Health Program.
In Shanksville, Pennsylvania tribute was paid to the passengers of United Flight 93, who fought back against the hijackers and crashed into a field.
A visibly emotional Vice President Mike Pence, an Indiana congressman at the time, recalled standing at the U.S. Capital, a believed target of the terrorists.
“I will always believe that I and many others in our nation’s capital were able to go home that day and hug our families because of the courage and selflessness of the heroes of flight 93,” Pence told the crowd. “So for me it’s personal.”
And in New York, personal too for so many—
“Today is important for a number of reasons. It’s important for everybody to remember, but also a reminder for us that we have to continue to be vigilant,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.
Tonight, the tribute light will also pierce the night sky, two beans lighting the heavens evoking the towers that were lost. As the nation pays tribute and is reminded of the threat that still exists.