By Paul Lomax
Special to DNAinfo
MANHATTAN — On Feb. 26, 1993, a truck bomb exploded in the sub-basement of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, tearing a massive crater in the building, killing six and injuring more than 1,000.
Nearly two decades later, the city paused to remember the devastation of that day, a chilling precursor to the 9/11 attacks, which destroyed the Trade Center site and scarred the city and the nation.
At 12:18 p.m., on a bright and chilly Sunday afternoon, a moment of silence at the 9/11 Memorial marked the 19th year since Ramzi Yousef and his cohorts unleashed the bombing.
Port Authority bagpipers, flanked by an NYPD honor guard, played "Ave Maria" for the 140 people who had gathered for the tribute.
Afterward, family, friends and Port Authority employees placed white roses over the names of the victims, whose names are inscribed on panel N-73 on the North Pool of the memorial.
"Today is a truly great day for all of the families of the people that were lost that day," said Charlie Maikish, 66, who was head of the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks. "Now [the families] have a place to remember their loved ones after the first memorial was destroyed on 9/11."
This year marks the first anniversary that the memorial has been open for the family of the 1993 attacks.
Ed Smith, 50 — who lost his wife Monica Rodriguez Smith, a secretary, and their unborn son, who they wanted to name Eddie — placed a single, white rose next to her name.
"It's a very sad day," he said. "It's a day to be reflective, to reach out to all the relatives here today and to never forget what happened that awful day.
"I miss my wife and my son every single day. The feeling never goes away, the hurt never stops."
Nicole Rossilli, 7, the granddaughter of Port Authority chief maintenance supervisor Stephen Knapp, traced her grandfather's name onto a sheet of white paper after the ceremony.
"Every year is important to remember what happened that day. We miss him every single day," said Knapp's daughter, Denise Rossilli, 35. "But, today it's good to be together with all the other families who lost loved ones on that day."