91/11/2001: The Day That Changed America
Remembering September 11
By Mary Harvey and Steven Ehrenberg

Police officers comfort each other during a ceremony at Ground Zero, marking the one-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. (Photo: Ruth Fremson/AP Wide World)
One year later, thousands of mourners gathered at Ground Zero in Manhattan to hear the names of their loved ones read aloud.

It was a windy day, and the dust from the pit where the World Trade Center stood blew into mourners' eyes. Minutes before the ceremony began, the sun emerged from behind skyscrapers.

After a moment of silence and brief speeches by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor George Pataki, ex-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani began reading the names of those who died in the Twin Towers. Families of the victims listened, cried, hugged each other, and laid roses where the towers stood. Many carried pictures and posters of the victims.

Only family members of the victims were allowed at Ground Zero, but for blocks in every direction, huge crowds stood huddled together, listening quietly to all 2,801 names. Many stood for nearly two and a half hours, until the last name — Igor Zukelman, a Ukranian immigrant who was proud to work in the World Trade Center —was spoken.

An orchestra played the Star-Spangled Banner and New Jersey Governor James McGreevy read the Declaration of Independence to conclude the ceremonies. The enormous crowd lingered, some people in small groups, some in pairs, others reflecting alone. Volunteers handed out water and tissues while resident New Yorkers exchanged stories with tourists who had traveled long distances to be there.