[UPDATE: After the 9/11 Memorial and Museum announced the Tribute in Light won't shine on September 11th this year due to COVID-19, Governor Cuomo stepped up, providing health personnel to make sure it happens.]


 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE BELOW:

Tribute in Light, the twin beams that commemorate the attacks of 9/11, will not shine over lower Manhattan this year.

The health risks during the coronavirus pandemic were far too great for the large crew required to produce the annual Tribute in Light, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum said in a statement.

Museum officials hope to have the iconic tribute return for the 20th anniversary in 2021.

In a spirit of unity and remembrance, the city will come together for a Tribute in Lights initiative to inspire the world and honor the promise to never forget. Many iconic New York City buildings will be lighting their spires and facades in blue to honor those killed on 9/11. If you plan to participate in this year’s citywide “Tribute in Lights,” please let us know at Tributeinlight@911memorial.org.

Reading of the Names

The focus of the commemoration has always been the reading of names of those who died on that fateful day. Out of an abundance of caution and in line with the guidance regarding social distancing, family members will not be asked to read the names of victims in person on a stage this year.

We are committed to a live commemoration that will be as beautiful and meaningful as ever, while also protecting the health and well-being of families. We can and will do both.

This year, the names, read by family members, will be broadcast on speakers placed around Memorial plaza. Families may choose to stand near their loved ones’ names on the Memorial pools or sit on benches under the trees, without fear of being too close to others.

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Throughout the ceremony, there will be six moments of silence, acknowledging when each of the World Trade Center towers was struck and fell, and the times corresponding to the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93. The ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the first moment of silence will be observed at 8:46 a.m.

We understand the disappointment that some within the 9/11 community have expressed with this year’s change. The difficult decision was to not put families, who have already gone through so much, potentially at additional risk, while remaining fully committed to enabling all present to hear the names of their loved ones spoken by family members in the serene and sacred setting of the Memorial.

9/11 is the single deadliest terrorist attack in history. Thousands were killed when two planes crashed in the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth, United Airlines Flight 93, bound for Washington, D.C., crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, after passengers overtook the hijackers. May we never forget.