Some worried that moving on would mean Sept. 11 will fade from memory.
"It's been 11 years already," said Michael Reneo, whose sister-in-law, Daniela Notaro, was killed at the trade center. "And unfortunately for some, the reality of this day seems to be fading as the years go by. ... I hope we never lose focus on what really happened here."
Thousands had attended the ceremony in New York in previous years, including last year's 10th anniversary. In lower Manhattan, a crowd of fewer than 200 swelled to about 1,000 by late Tuesday morning. A few hundred attended ceremonies at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa., fewer than in years past.
Some cities changed the way they remembered. The New York City suburb of Glen Rock, N.J., where 11 victims lived, did not hold an organized memorial for the first time in a decade.
"It was appropriate for this year — not that the losses will ever be forgotten," said Brad Jordan, chairman of a Glen Rock community group that helps victims' families. "But we felt it was right to shift the balance a bit from the observance of loss to a commemoration of how the community came together to heal."
Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik and Alex Katz in New York, Wayne Parry in Atlantic City, N.J., Katie Zezima in Middletown, N.J., Steven R. Hurst in Washington, Joe Mandak in Shanksville, Pa., Brock Vergakis in Norfolk, Va., and Amir Shah in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.
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