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Remembering 9/11: Live Reading Of Names Returns To Lower Manhattan Ceremony Honoring Victims Of Terror Attacks 20 Years Ago

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Memorials are scheduled to take place throughout the day Saturday to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

During the ceremony in Lower Manhattan, the names of the thousands of lives lost in the terror attacks are being read out loud, a tradition that was put on pause last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Six moments of silence to signify when the planes struck and when the towers fell.

The reading of names is expected to conclude around 12:30 p.m.

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Complete Coverage9/11 Twenty Years Later

President Biden is attending the ceremony, but will not speak – the focus will remain on the families, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.

Former President Bill Clinton, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden attend the annual 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum on September 11, 2021 in New York City. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Tribute in Light, echoing the shape of the Twin Towers from Lower Manhattan, will remain illuminated until Sunday. It can be seen from 60 miles away.

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The names are etched on the panels at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and in the hearts of those left behind.

Nearly 15% of the names represent first responders. Port Authority Police lost 37 officers. NYPD lost 23 members. FDNY lost 343 members, including Michael Kiefer.

Kiefer was just 25 when he died trying to save others in the South Tower.

His sister said the two decade anniversary means little when the loss will be felt for a lifetime.

“Twenty years, one year, ten years, it’s all still as raw as that day. We never recovered my brother. So, the pain is still raw,” said Kerri Kiefer-Viverito.

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Watch Tony Aiello’s Report

The contours of Saturday’s ceremony are well established, an annual ritual that is familiar and comforting.

The promise was to never forget – and it’s fulfilled with a roll call that lasts almost three hours as family members read the almost 3,000 names at a slow cadence.

The pairs at the podium are like strands in the tapestry that make up this city, reminding us that busboys and business leaders, people of every creed and color, perished in an act of hate.

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