Annual ceremony held at Point Lookout September 11th memorial

POINT LOOKOUT, Long Island (WABC) -- Nearly 500 people from Long Island died on September 11th, 2001, and each year, hundreds gather at Point Lookout to remember them.

The Town of Hempstead's annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony also had changes this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Attendees were asked to watch the ceremony from just outside their cars, which were spaced out in the parking lot to ensure social distancing.

"I'm glad that they still had this today, even if we have to do the social distancing," said Marilyn Reinhardt, of Freeport. "It was worth it."

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People were also asked to wear masks, and the town distributed packs of masks with hand sanitizer.

"Very glad that they're doing it, even if in this way," said Diane DeSantis, of Garden City. "We all have to go with it."

RELATED: WABC's late night newscast hours before the 2001 attacks in New York City

Still, the spirit of this year's ceremony was as it's always been -- solemn.

They carry on a tradition of walking down to the water at Point Lookout, because on that awful day, they could see the towers burning from there.

They also remember those they've lost in other ways -- the names now written on a memorial, 30 feet of steel from the North Tower permanently in place.

In the traditions, they find comfort year after year -- even amid the pandemic -- along with the patriotism that helps them teach a generation too young to know what happened the importance of hope even at our worst.

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