Sunday marked the 21st anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks
Thousands gathered at Point Lookout on Long Island Sunday to remember the victims and honor the survivors of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Visitors at the beach in Point Lookout cast hundreds of white carnations into the choppy waves during the Town of Hempstead’s annual sunrise memorial.
Local officials honored the courage of first responders and ordinary people alike who lost their lives during the terror attacks 21 years ago.
The shores of Point Lookout became a gathering place on September 11, 2001, where Long Islanders watched when two planes were flown into the twin towers in New York City to the west. A third plane hit the Pentagon in Virginia, and a fourth plane crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Over 450 Long Island residents were killed in the attacks. Connecticut lost 161 residents.
Personnel from the Coast Guard Academy and the US Naval Submarine base in Groton, Connecticut, held a poignant ceremony on Sunday against the backdrop of the Thames River.
“As we remember that fateful day and reflect on the two decades that have passed since, We will also retire some worn but no less revered symbols of our nation and our unshakeable spirit, " Justin Wiscons, a senior chief at Subbase New London, said.
Chief Petty Officer Peter McManus from the Coast Guard Academy spoke of his personal recollections of the fateful day as a young student studying in New Jersey.
He, like many others, found themselves part of a bucket gang, “which was basically a long line of people passing 5-gallon buckets of debris in an attempt to clear the space to allow for search and rescue efforts."
"We spent several hours there and went back again the next day," McManus said. "I was not in the Coast Guard yet, but this definitely had a major influence in my decision to enlist."