The 9/11 Memorial and Museum announced that the annual “Tribute in Light” — an artistic light installation that projects twin beams into the Manhattan skyline as a memorial to the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks — actually won’t be canceled this year after all.
“For the last eight years the 9/11 Memorial & Museum has produced the Tribute in Light and we recognize the profound meaning it has for so many New Yorkers. This year, its message of hope, endurance, and resilience are more important than ever,” said museum president Alice Greenwald in a statement. “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.”
CBS News reports that the museum announced its new decision several days after it revealed it would be canceling the event due to a lack of resources to host it safely amidst the coronavirus pandemic, which severely affected New York City earlier in the year.
According to the museum’s website, the first “Tribute in Light” was presented six months after 9/11 as a collaboration between several artists and designers, and has since become an “iconic symbol that both honors those killed and celebrates the unbreakable spirit of New York.”
Assembled on the roof of the Battery Parking Garage south of the 9/11 Memorial, the twin beams reach up to four miles into the sky and are comprised of eighty-eight 7,000-watt xenon lightbulbs positioned into two 48-foot squares, echoing the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers. The installation can also be viewed from a 60-mile radius around lower Manhattan.
Greenwald attributed the turnaround to help from three sources in particular — Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is also the chairman of the organization — noting that they have helped to offset the costs of hosting the event this year.
“I am glad that we can continue this powerful tribute to those we lost on 9/11 and to the heroism of all New Yorkers,” tweeted Cuomo, who also noted that the state would provide medical personnel for the event. “We will #NeverForget.”
Honoring our 9/11 heroes is a cherished tradition.
The twin towers of light signify hope, resiliency, promise and are a visual representation of #NewYorkTough.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 15, 2020
In a statement of his own, Bloomberg said that the annual “Tribute in Light” installation will always represent a “beacon of the resilience and hope of this great city. I’m glad we will continue this tradition and remind the world of NY’s strength.”
The 9/11 “Tribute in Light” will always be a beacon of the resilience and hope of this great city. I’m glad we will continue this tradition and remind the world of NY’s strength. Thank you to @NYGovCuomo for providing personnel and joining us to ensure the lights shine on. pic.twitter.com/n9itEyc2Yr
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) August 15, 2020