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Nassau Residents Commemorate 9/11 With Sunset Ceremony

Mourners gathered at the September 11th Memorial at Eisenhower Park for a tribute.

Hundreds gathered at the September 11th Memorial at Eisenhower Park Tuesday to pay tribute to those lost in the attacks nine years ago.

Nassau County lost more than 350 residents in the tragedy, and still many of those affected lack closure.

"Recently, I read that over 1,700 families still haven't received any remains of their loved ones," Ian Siegel, president of the Nassau County 9/11 Memorial Foundation, said. "It humbles me to know that those families and all the families have a place to visit, reflect, mourn and remember right here in Eisenhower Park."

Nancy Gilroy of Elmont said her brother, Edward Schunk, was never found.

"It's hard to not be able to say goodbye," Gilroy said. "But this memorial is a lovely tribute. Sometimes I come here to just remember and think about life."

Many people were looking for answers in the wake of 9/11, and Father Gerard Gordon of The Church of St. Dominic in Oyster Bay offered people comfort through prayer.

"The first person that died that day was a priest," Gordon said. "The Franciscans believe that he went first so he could welcome all of your loved ones to the promise land."

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano served as the keynote speaker for the memorial service. He praised the relatives of those who were lost for having the courage to read names at the podium.

"To the family and friends of those who lost loved ones, I am deeply honored to be here with you today and I offer my deepest sympathies," Mangano said. "Nearly nine Septembers have come and gone, yet time does not diminish the pain and loss of that day."

Another theme of the night was support, which is exactly what Bill Bachinsky of Douglaston was doing for his friend.

"My friend was a part of the Pledge of Allegiance," Bachinsky said. "She lost her husband on September 11, and he was a dear friend. I miss him a lot."

After family members alternated with the reading of names, the Nassau County Fire Department Pipes and Drums performed "Amazing Grace." Mangano ended the night by addressing the families and friends of those lost one final time.

"We honor you, and we honor their memories," Mangano said. "And we thank you for allowing us to join with you."

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