Photos: Tempe Healing Field memorial vigil

Hundreds of people gathered at Tempe Beach Park to see the Tempe Healing Field memorial on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. The annual event is co-hosted by the Exchange Club and the City of Tempe. Around 3,000 flags are placed around Tempe Beach Park for the event, memorializing each of the victims who lost their lives 11 years ago.

Photos by Aaron Lavinsky

Around 3,000 flags are carefully lined up on the fields at Tempe Beach Park as part of the Tempe Healing Fields, an annual event memorializing the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

6-year-old Mara Williams plays among the flags at Tempe Beach Park on Sept. 11, 2012.

Eric Martinez and his daughter Xitlali visit the Tempe Healing Fields for the first time on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. "I appreciate everyone's courage -- to be where they were," Martinez said. "God put them there for a reason."

Don Wright, the president elect of the National Exchange Club, hands a flag to 2-year-old Tess Eden.

Charles Pitman of Phoenix (right) and his friend Armando Saucedo walk down a line of flags at the Tempe Healing Fields on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. Charles said that this was the first year that he could build the emotional strength to visit the memorial for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. His cousin, Chris Pitman, was killed 11 years ago today.

Retired NYPD officer Joseph Lutrario looks on at the Tempe Healing Field memorial on Tuesday evening. Lutrario, who was injured on Sept. 11, 2001, was the keynote speaker at Tuesday night's vigil.

Mei-Ling Allen reads a note on a flag that details the life of one of the victims in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "These were people -- not just numbers," Allen said while trying to hold back tears. "Their lives meant something to someone."

An honor guard officer holds a decorative-memorial fireman's axe on Tuesday night.

Army National Guard specialists Shauna Jaster and Alex Esparza look at notes attached to flags on Tuesday night. Each note details the lives of one of the people that lost their lives in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Army National Guard Specialist Alex Esparza of Chandler looks at a note attached to one of the nearly 3,000 American Flags dedicated to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Tempe Police Pipe Band performs Tuesday night prior to the Tempe Healing Field memorial vigil.

A color guard officer places the US flag at the beginning of the Tempe Healing Fields Sept. 11 vigil Tuesday night.

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