This was Toni Lawrence's first time at the New York memorial service. Her sister, Barbara Olson, died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. Before coming to New York for the event, Lawrence said that as a Christian, she had been offended that religious leaders were excluded from the ceremony. Once here, though, she understood.
"I'm sharing the grief of everyone here," she said.
Near Shanksville, where yellow and orange flowers dotted the field into which United Airlines Flight 93 crashed, Gordon Felt said the grieving was never over. Nor should it be, said Felt, whose brother died on Flight 93.
"Nothing frightens me more than the phrase 'Time heals all things,' " Felt told a crowd that waved flags and wore T-shirts bearing messages of support or pictures of the dead. "Do we … truly want to be fully healed if means complete elimination of the pain that links us to all we lost? Do we want our memories eroded by the passage of time?"
The point of impact is marked by a huge rock adorned with flowers. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, arriving from the New York ceremony, laid a wreath in front of the Wall of Names, etched with the names of the people who died after passengers battled in the cockpit with the hijackers.
The Obamas spent roughly an hour at the site before flying to Washington for the ceremony outside the Pentagon. The president laid a wreath in honor of the 184 people killed there when Flight 77 crashed into the building.
Sunday evening he spoke at the "Concert for Hope" at the Kennedy Center in Washington.
"These past 10 years have shown that America does not give in to fear," Obama said, citing the rescue workers who rushed to help after the attacks, and the passengers who stormed the cockpit of Flight 93.
Despite tight security, some attendees Sunday morning were edgy in light of a warning from Justice Department officials last week that they had detected a "credible" threat by terrorists to hit targets in New York or Washington on the anniversary. That was enough to persuade the Acquavivas to cancel plans to bring their 13-year-old grandson to the New York ceremony. Instead of reading names aloud at the ceremony, as planned, he stayed home in New Jersey.
But Manika Narula's family was out in force in Lower Manhattan: 14 of them, including her childhood friend, Shailja Gulati, all wearing pink and black T-shirts bearing Narula's photo and the words: "In loving memory of Manika Narula. Always in our Heart."
Gulati remembered the way she and Narula, 22 when she died, would meet regularly at their gym to catch up on gossip while on the treadmills.
On the day before the attacks, Narula missed their gym date.
"I'll see her tomorrow, I thought," Gulati said. "But tomorrow never came."
Kathleen Hennessey in Shanksville, Pa., and Noam N. Levey in Washington contributed to this report.