New Rochelleans packed the American Legion Hall on North Avenue Tuesday to remember those who were lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Sponsored by the United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association of New Rochelle and organized by Peter Parente, the evening consisted of the singing of patriotic songs, moving speeches and the mention of the names of loved ones who perished because of the attacks.
Parente said this year's event was more intimate than the 2011 one, held on the grounds of City Hall, which had almost 3,000 flags planted around it.
He said the 2001 attacks "wounded our nation" in a way not known since Pearl Harbor.
"The day ranks as the most devastating event of our time," Parente said.
He said the survivors still live in the pain of that day, but he felt Americans were beginning to forget Sept. 11, 2001.
Parente said he was dismayed that there were school events or other things scheduled for Tuesday.
"It's not a day for doing our ordinary business," he said.
Candles were distributed and lighted, after which John D'Alois recited a list of about 15 names of people connected to New Rochelle who were killed in the attacks. Audience members were then invited to come up to the microphone to pay tribute to those they wanted remembered.