9/11 Light Tribute at Ground Zero Reinstated With Assistance From New York State

August 15, 2020 Updated: August 15, 2020

The 9/11 “Tribute in Light” will go on this year with help from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and others after the 9/11 Memorial & Museum announced the cancelation of the event this week.

“The state will provide health personnel to supervise to make sure the event is held safely while at the same time properly honoring 9/11. We will never forget,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We will never forget.”

“This year it is especially important that we all appreciate and commemorate 9/11, the lives lost, and the heroism displayed ‎as New Yorkers are once again called upon to face a common enemy,” he added.

The light tribute involves two beams of light echoing the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center before the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks and was first displayed at Ground Zero in March 2002 to commemorate those who lost their lives in the attack.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, chair of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, acknowledged Cuomo’s help in a Twitter post.

“Throughout my tenure as Mayor the Tribute in Light was a powerful symbol of New York’s recovery after 911. I am pleased that once again it will shine this year as a beacon of our city’s resilience,” he said in a separate statement.

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum confirmed the reinstatement of the event.

“In the last 24 hours we’ve had conversations with many interested parties and believe we will be able to stage the tribute in a safe and appropriate fashion,” the 9/11 Memorial & Museum President and CEO Alice M. Greenwald said in a statement. “I want to particularly thank Mike Bloomberg, Governor Cuomo and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp for their assistance in offsetting the increased costs associated with the health and safety considerations around the tribute this year and the technical support of so many that will enable the Tribute to be a continuing source of comfort to families and an inspiration to the world going forward.”

The museum announced this week that the light tribute was canceled due to safety concerns with installation workers amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak.

The 9/11 anniversary commemoration usually also includes a large crowd that reads off the names of victims of the tragedy. The museum also scrapped the portion of in-person readings and planned to do it through recorded readings instead.

The recordings of family members reading the names will be broadcast via speakers while relatives who feel comfortable attending can stand or sit and listen, as long as they follow social distancing guidelines.

After the initial cancellation of the light tribute, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Foundation—a foundation named after a hero firefighter who lost his life to save other during 9/11—said they are “doing everything in its power to make sure the Tower of Light will once again be illuminated.” Many others also rushed to save the iconic event.

The foundation will also organize an in-person name reading event in memorial of the 9/11 victims.

They’re inviting 140 speakers from family members to join them.

“Every year, we honor those we’ve lost on September 11, 2001 by reading their names at Ground Zero. This year, amidst our hardships and obstacles, we will not forget them,” the foundation said in a statement. “Participants will read 21 names each and continue the tradition of honoring the fallen.”

Appropriate safety measures will be taken and all speakers will wear masks and practice social distancing, they said.

Zachary Stieber contributed to the report.

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