LOWER MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) — As New York City prepares to mark the 21st anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, residents who live closest to ground zero are remembering the tragedy.

“Every day when I leave my building seeing the World Trade Center, I mean the Freedom Tower, it takes you back to everything that happened 21 years ago,” said Battery Park City resident Adam Taylor.

There is an eerie sense of sadness in Battery Park City, right across from the footprint of the World Trade Center towers.

On the eve of the 21st anniversary, everyone seemed to want to share poignant thoughts about where they were and what they had learned:

“I was witness to the highest form of what human beings can do for one another, and that is very strong, as strong as the hurt and the mourning,” said Battery Park City resident Yvonne Shalom. “It’s really about balance.”

Her neighbor, Steven Kessler, worried that it could happen again.

Once again, this year, the national September 11 Memorial and Museum will host its annual ceremony to honor those lives lost. Family members have once again been invited to read the victims’ names.

There will be six moments of silence — for each of the times the towers were struck and fell and the time of the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93.

“The first time I came back into Manhattan, we were on the Brooklyn Bridge, and I see the flag, ‘We’re New York, and we’re still standing,’ and that was a happy moment,” said Battery Park resident Marianne Feola.

An honor guard made up of FDNY, NYPD and the Port Authority Police will participate, and the Tribute in Light will shine over lower Manhattan on Sunday night.

“Thank God I’m alive,” Shalom said. “Let me make the moments of my life count.”