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Tribute in Light
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The annual 9/11 Tribute in Light is now back on after receiving additional aid

The honorary remembrance will be happening again this year.

Will Gleason

UPDATE: After the national September 11 Memorial & Museum announced last week that the annual Tribute in Light memorial would not be happening this year, Governor Cuomo said that additional state funding would be provided to allow the remembrance to happen.

"I understand the Museum's concern for health and safety, and appreciate their reconsideration," said the governor. "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."

The light installation has taken place every year in the city since 2002, and it now appears that this year will be no different.

ORIGINAL POST: For the first time in almost 20 years, the Tribute in Light memorial to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 will be going dark. 

The illuminated remembrance, featuring twin beams of spotlights representing the destroyed World Trade Center towers, has been a city tradition since 2002, when they first appeared on the New York skyline. They’ve been lit in Lower Manhattan every September since then, often serving as the centerpiece of the day’s events. The ongoing pandemic, however, has required a change in plans.

“This incredibly difficult decision was reached in consultation with our partners after concluding the health risks during the pandemic were far too great for the large crew required to produce the annual Tribute in Light,” the National September 11 Memorial said in a statement. “We hope to resume this iconic tribute for the 20th anniversary. 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.”

That new initiative is a citywide campaign to encourage property owners to light their buildings blue on the anniversary of the attacks. (Building owners interested can contact for more information on participating.) Meanwhile, like many other citywide events in this unprecedented year, the Tribute in Light will be taking place in a more virtual form.

In another major change to the day’s proceedings, the annual reading of the names of 9/11 victims will also no longer take place live. Rather, a recording from last year’s reading will be played instead.

The 9/11 Memorial, however, remains open to visitors daily from 1 to 8pm, with required health and safety guidelines in place.

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