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Queens victims immortalized in memorial at Ground Zero

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Photo gallery

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A visitor runs his hand over names in the memorial. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Visitors line the north pool. Photo by Christina Santucci
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The names of Queens firefighters, including Christopher Santora and Carl Asaro, adorn the memorial. Photo by Yinghao Luo
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Visitors place their hands on the names. Photo by Christina Santucci
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A man is reflected in a view inside the World Trade Center Museum, which is slated to include entwined steel beams. Photo by Christina Santucci
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A rainbow is visible in cascading water in the north pool. The two pools are constructed within the footprints of the former Twin Towers. Photo by Yinghao Luo
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Countless drops of water flow through the memorial. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Rick Walls of Slottsburg arranged flags around the name of Denis P. Germain, who had been his mail carrier. Photo by Christina Santucci
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A rainbow is visible in the north pool. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Moira Ann Smith of Glen Oaks was one of dozens of people from Queens killed. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Water cascades down the side of the north pool. Photo by Christina Santucci
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John Katsimatides’ name is located north memorial pool. Photo by Yinghao Luo
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The skyline of Manhattan surrounds the memorial. Photo by Christina Santucci
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An American flag hangs above construction workers at the World Trade Center site. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Sylvia San Pio Resta’s name is placed alongside that of John Thomas Resta. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Mohammad Salman Hamdani was an EMT from Queens College. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Jennifer Yen Wong was a resident of Whitestone. Photo by Christina Santucci
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A pigeon sits on a fence surrounding the 9/11 Memorial. Photo by Christina Santucci
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FDNY ladder and engine companies are listed on the south pool. Photo by Christina Santucci
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The 9/11 memorial, which includes the two pools, occupies about half of the 16-acre World Trade Center site. Photo by Christina Santucci
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A flag hangs outside the site. Photo by Christina Santucci
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One WTC and Two TWC are reflected in the facade of the Memorial Museum. Photo by Christina Santucci

Eleven years have gone by and the cityscape has changed drastically, but now there are names, like those of Bayside’s John Thomas Resta and his wife Sylvia San Pio Resta, which will forever be inscribed in Lower Manhattan.

John Resta and his wife worked for Carr Futures Inc. in the North Tower of the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001. They lost their lives, along with Sylvia’s unborn child, when terrorists attacked Manhattan as well as the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and a jetliner that crashed in Shanksville, Pa.

And after the 9/11 Memorial officially opened 10 years after the tragedy, their names were etched into slab N-62, facing north in the footprint of the tower where they once worked.

Not far from there, Astoria’s John A. Katsimatides’ name was embedded into the N-39 slab in honor of the late employee of Cantor Fitzgerald. His name was surrounded by this co-workers. Londoner Alex Flum stopped at the spot on the memorial to read his name out loud in the days before the 11th anniversary.

“People don’t realize enough that these were someone else’s children, parents, relatives,” Flum said. “But I don’t know a better way to remember them.”

The memorial originally opened Sept. 11, 2011, with two pools embedded into the footprints of the original Twin Towers. Inside, a 30-foot waterfall acts as a reflecting pool for each building.

“But as important as the memorial is, and I believe it could not be more important, we owe the victims much more than ceremonies and symbolism,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said of the site. “We will never forget the devastation of the area that came to be known as Ground Zero. Never. But the time has come to call those 16 acres what they are.”

Designed by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker, the site includes a surrounding plaza filled with white oak trees and a museum yet to be completed.

“The opening of the 9/11 Memorial on the 10th anniversary of the attacks marked the beginning of a new chapter in the history of New York City and the United States,” said Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. “The memorial is now forever a place for visitors from across the country and around the world to pay their respects, reminding us not only of what we have endured, but also of our ability to come together in the wake of a tragedy.”

Since its opening, the 9/11 Memorial has grown into an international destination, swarming with visitors from all over the world.

Jonathon Rosenberg, of Chicago, was visiting New York with a friend last week and walked slowly around the North Tower’s massive reflecting pool. He ran his hand across the names in the shadow of the new building at 1 World Trade Center, which at 1,776 feet, will top out as the tallest building in the United States.

“It will never be the same,” Rosenberg said, looking up at the new building, still growing to its full potential. “It has been a real reality check being here, but I’m glad we are showing this kind of respect to the victims.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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