For kin of victims, a solemn memorial

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By Andrew Ryan and Brian R. Ballou
Globe Staff / May 3, 2011

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In the moment of silence yesterday at the Public Garden’s 9/11 memorial, Carie Lemack hugged a framed photograph of her mother, squeezing it tightly as she began to weep.

Her older sister, Danielle, pulled her close. The two women’s heads rested tenderly against one another after a sleepless night. They cried together for mom — Judy Larocque, 50, from Framingham, killed on American Airlines Flight 11 that crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, as part of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

In that quiet instant, the Lemack sisters encapsulated the reaction here yesterday to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Both women seemed relieved that the man responsible for the murder of their mother was dead. But the news brought little solace.

“Mom’s still not here,’’ Carie Lemack said afterward. “All of the victims are still not part of our lives. Tomorrow when the cameras turn off of us, we’ll still have our lives without our mom.’’

Scores of elected officials — Governor Deval Patrick, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, among others — kept their heads bowed and faded into the crowd that encircled the victims’ families and the pink granite memorial etched with names. There were no speeches except for brief remarks from John H. Curtis, president of The Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, which built the monument.

“It’s a day of mixed emotions,’’ said Curtis, who spoke of pride for the military and intelligence agents for finally getting bin Laden. “But it’s also become a day of emotions thrust on all of these families, who on 9/11 with the same almost suddenness, lost someone close to them.’’

The crowd took turns laying white roses on the cold stone — 206, one for each of the 9/11 victims with a link to Massachusetts. They hugged the now-familiar victims’ relatives, people they see on each anniversary.

“It’s not over for these families,’’ Menino said. “It will never be over.’’

Paul Sanseverino traced his finger over names of friends he lost in the 9/11 attack.

“I’m glad that the instigator of the whole thing was finally brought to justice,’’ Sanseverino said. “But we’re still at war . . . It’s a wonderful day, but still a sad day because many more people will die, because it’s not over yet.’’

Andrew Ryan can be reached at and Brian Ballou at