On 15th anniversary of 9/11, ‘the grief never goes away’

From The Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. marked the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, with victims’ relatives reading their names and reflecting on a loss that still felt as immediate to them as it was indelible for the nation.

“It doesn’t get easier. The grief never goes away. You don’t move forward – it always stays with you,” Tom Acquaviva, who lost his son, Paul Acquaviva, said as he joined over 1,000 victims’ family members, survivors and dignitaries at ground zero under an overcast sky.

For Dorothy Esposito, too, the 15 years since she lost her son, Frankie, is “like 15 seconds.”

James Johnson, a retired New York City police sergeant who is now police chief in Forest City, Pennsylvania, was there for the first time since he last worked on the rescue and recovery efforts in early 2002.

“I’ve got mixed emotions, but I’m still kind of numb,” he said. “I think everyone needs closure, and this is my time to have closure.”

President Barack Obama was scheduled to speak at an observance at the Pentagon. Hundreds of people also were expected at a ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Nearly 3,000 people died when hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001. It was the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

The 15th anniversary arrives in a country caught up in a combustible political campaign and keenly focused on political, economic and social fissures.

But some at the ceremony pleaded for the nation to look past its differences.

“The things we think separate us really don’t. We’re all part of this one Earth in this vast …

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