The grieving family of Karen Martin went to the Salem waterfront a decade ago to release balloons in memory of the American Airlines head flight attendant from Danvers who was killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
On that day 10 years ago, they also released balloons for Karen's aunt, Kathleen Martin of Danvers, who died on the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, hours after hearing the tragic news about her niece.
Yesterday, a decade later, a large contingent from the Martin family marched in a parade in Danvers in memory of the courageous flight attendant who was stabbed by a terrorist, becoming one of the first 9/11 victims, and the nearly 3,000 others who died that day.
As the parade stopped by a memorial in Danvers Square that included a brick inscribed with the flight attendant's name, family members repeated the gesture of a decade ago, letting go of a handful of balloons with messages attached.
"It's a crazy, simple thing," said an aunt, Joan Greener of Salem, "but it's a healing."
The North Shore, home to 10 victims of the terrorist attacks, held a variety of healings yesterday on the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.
In Marblehead, which lost three residents, the town police and fire departments held a remembrance ceremony at noon in Memorial Park.
There was an 8 a.m. flag ceremony at Peabody's Sept. 11 memorial on Grandview Avenue followed by a parade and an open house at the Police Department.
A large crowd gathered in Salem, where the Fire Department dedicated a memorial made by firefighters that included a 100-pound steel beam recovered from ground zero in New York City.
They held a flag ceremony in Beverly, a road race in Swampscott, a candlelight vigil in Topsfield, and art exhibits at local churches and colleges. Students at Endicott College in Beverly used the day to perform random acts of kindness.