Permanent 9/11 memorial unveiled in Point Lookout, Long Island

POINT LOOKOUT, Long Island (WABC) -- It has been 16 years, but Friday with crisp September sunshine and a sky eerily reminiscent of the weather back on September 11th, there was an unveiling in Nassau County that will surely bring solace to many.

Among those in attendance at Point Lookout was Robert Gies. He was only 13 when his dad, Ronnie Gies, of the FDNY, was killed on 9/11.

"I talk to my nieces and nephews about my father endlessly," Gies said. "It's important that they know who their grandfather was and what he did."

This brand new permanent memorial site will commemorate the dead with their names on granite plaques on one side and an ever growing memorial on the other side of this new walkway.

The plaques bear the names of those who died from 9/11 related illnesses.

There is also an original 30-foot beam from the wreckage of the Twin Towers, and a tiny tree that was grown from a seedling from the only surviving tree at the World Trade Center site.

190 residents of the Town of Hempstead lost their lives on 9/11, but even from this great distance, people came there and they looked out and they could see the smoke from the burning buildings.

"It was clear, you could see the tragedy unfolding before your eyes," said Anthony Santino, Hempstead Town Supervisor. "So this is the right spot, this is the right time."

As time passes, so has a generation. The need has grown to use this space not only for grieving, but for teaching what has become history.

"And there wasn't a person in this country that wasn't scared after 9/11, and that's why we were who we were," Gies said.

Realizing that despite our fears, we are and always will be Americans.
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