By Michael Herzenberg NY1
A ceremony under the skyline of skyscrapers and two beams of light shooting into the air begins at sundown when the tribute in light goes up.
The Brooklyn Heights Clergy Association organizes it each year.
Believers of any faith are welcome, as are non-believers.
“Tonight is one of those special moments when people’s denominations are secondary and belonging to one human family is primary,” said Rabbi Joe Potasnik of Congregation Mt. Sinai.
They hold the annual gathering on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade because many people came to this spot 12 years ago to gape at the void in the sky.
“It’s as if it were yesterday,” said one person. “Most years, it feels like it could have been this year.”
Every anniversary, a crowd gathers here to see the 88 lights, each throwing off 7,000 watts that re-create the towers just south of where they once stood.
Lourdes Rivera comes with a rub of her son’s grandmother’s name from the memorial to let balloons go in her honor.
“We just feel like she’s watching, and just it makes us smile,” Rivera said. “So we just continue to do it.”
Religious leaders say this is the most difficult day of the year for those missing loved ones. They offered the words of someone who was killed 12 years ago to help.
“I remember Mychal Judge,” Potasnik said. “I was with him the day before 9/11, and I remember his words. It was at the re-dedication of a firehouse, and he said the following. He said, ‘In life, we have to learn to hold on to memory, to hold on to the moment and to hold on to each other.’ That was said one day before 9/11. How true those words are after 9/11, and he was taken from us on that day.”
One woman told NY1 that this brings people together like the outpouring of support that took place after the attacks, and reminds her of the feeling of community and gives her hope.