“You don’t want people to forget,” said McGinty, who lives in Connecticut. “A lot of people did very brave things. But I am glad we can have a little more peace this year.”
Regardless of the tenor of Sept. 11 commemorations, Sept. 12 can be just as hard, she said. “The world goes back to its routine,” she said. “But Mike’s still not here for us. He’s still not coming through the back door.”
At this time last year, Lemack avoided virtually all media, knowing it would only upset her. She hoped this year might be easier, but about a week ago an immense sadness came over her, like it does every year. “I’ve learned to accept it,” she said.
Lemack said she will not attend any memorial ceremonies this year. Instead, she will visit friends by the water, and remember her mother with those who loved her.
“It’s mom,” she said of the get-together. “My mom wasn’t Sept. 11.”
The shared grief of Sept. 11 has forged many friendships, and Hunt and White have grown close. A couple of weeks ago, as the familiar ache from the anniversary returned, they arranged to meet at the Sept. 11 memorial in Boston. It was raining, but they sat there just the same, trading stories about their children through the years, and about the hard years without them.
“It tears at my heart,” Hunt said through tears. “I just miss my son.”