Dana Nacewicz of the North Bellmore Ladies Auxiliary lost her cousin, Thomas Kelly of Riverhead during the Sept. 11 attacks 10 years ago.
"He was a member of the Ladder 105 in Brooklyn," she said. "I grew up in the fire service and my dad was a volunteer firefighter. So a lot of my friends and family were involved."
Nacewicz and other residents came to honor those who have died at the North Bellmore Fire Department's 9/11 Memorial Ceremony Sunday.
The fire department unveiled a memorial near the Engine Company No. 2 fire house at 829 Newbridge Road. A memorial also stands in front of the Engine Company No. 1 fire house at 1500 Newbridge Road.
"Eighteen Nassau County firefighters lost their lives that day," Captian Mark DiRenzo told the crowd. "Every time you see this dedication please remember those we have lost."
Chief Edward Krauss agreed.
"Let's hold true to the model of that tragic day and never forget," he said.
Krauss said he responded to Ground Zero on 9/11 and lost his two friends, Kevin Prior and Adam Rand of the Bellmore Fire Department.
"They were brothers and mentors to me," he said. "They were good men and the best firefighters you could ask for. They were taken in their prime. It feels like I saw them just yesterday."
He gazed at the memorial as he spoke about about his buddies.
"It is so humbling," he said. "We remember our brothers that did not make it."
Ivy Roberts and her husband Norman Roberts of North Bellmore did not lose loved ones during the attacks, but they said that it was necessary to attend the memorial.
"We wanted to do something to commemorate the anniversary," Norman Roberts said.
When asked how they felt during the ceremony, Ivy Roberts said "sad" and Norman Roberts replied "introspective."
At the end of the ceremony, Nacewicz held and kissed her 8-month-old son Ryan as fire officials saluted the flag.
"This all feels very emotional," she said.