I am a card-carrying crybaby at wakes and funerals - no joke: if your nasty neighbor dies and has no one to mourn him, invite me and you'll have a crying section. I wear my heart on my sleeve.
I was the President of my dd's school's Parents Guild at the time of 9/11 and part of my role was to represent the school at these types of events. During my four years in office, I went to a few parents' funerals (incredibly sad-cancer) and some grandparents (not so bad), but it was just a handful of people and I was able to keep it somewhat together. (Although two of the parents who died broke my heart - they were personal friends from swim team I coached.)
Within three months of 9/11, I had attended 3 dozen victims' wakes and funerals for the school, along with quite a few memorial services - over 1,000 families in total on 9/11 were without closure since no remains were found for thier loved ones. I was shell-shocked by the last few and that numbness still lasts today. I had never known what it felt like to be stoic until that time, but I knew I had to suck it up and be strong because those people were hurting, especially at the memorials.
My youngest DD, who was 3 at the time, wrote a beautiful essay this weekend on why we all have to work together to overcome the evil that became 9/11. It was very sweet, if a bit naive, but from the heart. I'm sure she'll get a good grade.