Wednesday marked the 10th anniversary of the completion of the cleanup of the World Trade Center site, and in recognition of the milestone the 9/11 Memorial in New York City honored recovery workers and first responders, The Associated Press reports.

On May 30, 2002, the last steel beam left standing was symbolically removed to signal the end of the recovery process. Ten years later, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with former Mayor Rudy Guliani and former New York Governor George Pitaki, returned to the site to pay tribute to the men and women who braved the harsh conditions in the aftermath of the attacks.

"It's pure emotion to stand here now," Bob Nesoff, 73, who rushed to the site to aid in the clean up soon after the attack nearly 11 years ago, told New Jersey's The Record. "It gets you choked up."

First responders who were around ground zero during the aftermath have been in the news as of late, chiefly due to the Zadroga Bill. The legislation, which was passed in 2010, provides healthcare for workers who became sick as a result of their time spent in the wreckage. Still, despite the move forward, cancer has yet to be covered by the nearly $3 billion fund, according to The New York Times.