State leaders gathered at Sherwood Island State Park on Thursday to honor the 152 people with Connecticut ties who perished on Sept. 11, 2001.
The victims' families were invited to attend the memorial service marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
During the ceremony, Gov. Dannel Malloy unveiled a new sculpture called “Sanctuary,” made in part from aluminum cladding from the World Trade Center.
“I know the families do not measure their pain in terms of years, but rather weeks and days and moments and occasions,” Malloy said.
In the audience, 13 year-old Chris Gardner listened. He was only 3 when his father died.
“We used to have a lot of fun. He would come home from work every day and -- he was just a great man,” Chris said through his tears.
Even though it has been 10 years, the victims' families are the first to admit the pain is still raw.
“It never gets any easier. This is a bad time of year for everybody involved,” William Hunt’s father-in-law said. Hunt perished in the south tower, leaving a little girl who thinks of him every day.
“I really love my dad. It’s just sad that I don’t get to see him anymore,” said Emma Hunt, 11.
Connecticut's 9/11 service was held a few days early to allow families to attend Ground Zero ceremonies on Sunday if they so choose.