Memorial held for Long Island's 9/11 victims

September 11, 2011 6:25:14 PM PDT
Nearly 500 Long Island residents died in the twin towers on 9/11.

People gathered at the water's edge in Point Lookout to leave flowers and write notes in memory of their loved ones on Sunday.

The sun rose and the flag came down over 1,000 Hempstead residents gathered on the most solemn of days.

Most still are suffering a heartbreaking loss.

"I love you dad and I miss you," Manny Damota said.

Manny Damota never got to meet the father who shares his name.

Manny Senior, a building contractor, was at "Windows on the World" a decade ago, going over blueprints for a job.

He never made it out.

It would be several more months before Manny Junior was born.

"I always wish I can see him but I never got to see him," Damota said.

Sunday morning he was playing with the Legos and he made two WTCs out of Legos.

He said that's where my daddy was and that's where my daddy died.

Hundreds of the victims hailed from Long Island, the Town of Hempstead alone lost 200 residents.

"We are very much a bedroom community of the city and that's why we suffered such deep intense losses here," a town official said.

And why Sunday, so many people gathered at the water's edge to leave flowers and write notes to their loved ones.

"It's really tough," Gloria Moran said.

Gloria Moran's brother Nicholas was an insurance executive, who worked at the top of the north tower.

After the south tower was hit, he heeded building management's advice and didn't try to evacuate, until it was too late.

"I'm here today saying I can't believe its ten years," Moran said.

Here on the beach the replica of the towers and this mangled, twisted piece of steel from the real thing will stay here at Point Lookout at least through the day Monday for anyone who wants to pay their respects.

As Long Islanders vow, they'll never forget.

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