Manhattan skyline is lit up during a test drive for ‘Tribute In Light’ 9/11 Memorial – after a private foundation intervened when Mayor de Blasio was criticized for having the tribute canceled
- The monument ‘Tribute In Light’ for the attacks of September 11, 2001 was tested Friday evening
- Photos show the dazzling rays piercing the night sky over Lower Manhattan in a solemn commemoration
- It has been presented every year since the attacks, but the museum that houses it tried to cancel it
- A private foundation stepped in to keep the tribute after the museum said it was too risky in a pandemic
Images have revealed a short test run of Manhattan’s 9/11 Tribute In Light, after a private foundation intervened to erect the monument when Mayor Bill de Blasio was criticized for allowing it to be canceled.
The Friday night test run gave a sneak peek at what the monument will look like next week, when the dual beams of light will illuminate the sky from dusk to dawn on the night of September 11, the 19th anniversary of the attacks.
The tribute was first displayed six months after the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center towers, and has been held every year since then to honor the victims of the terror attacks.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced last month that it is taking over this year’s light monument after normal organizers said it would be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A passing helicopter creates a cross through the rays of the Tribute in Light as it is tested over Manhattan and One World Trade Center in New York City as the moon rises on September 4, 2020, as viewed from Jersey City, New Jersey
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum normally hosts the tribute, but this year organizers were especially concerned about the health risks to workers who would set up the exhibit.
For the installation, known as ‘Tribute in Light’, 40 stagehands and electricians work close together for more than a week.
Paul Nunziato, chairman of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, said at the time that the cancellation of the light tribute would only feel more “ demoralizing ” for New Yorkers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
He also criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio for not doing enough to save the ceremony.
“Despite all the nonsense the mayor has allowed for the past few months, what’s the problem with turning on the lights?” he told the Daily news.
However, De Blasio has no direct authority over the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which made the decision to call off the tribute.
The tribute in light marking the 19th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks is being tested in New York City
The Tunnel to Tower Foundation said the tribute is expected to go ahead as planned – with some minor tweaks – after organizers, together with community members, recreated the installation.
The Port Authority Police, along with members of the NYPD and the FDNY, have also agreed to move the spotlight to the Port Authority property near the World Trade Center.
The lights are usually installed on top of the Battery Parking Garage located near the museum.
Because Tunnel to Towers is fully committed to the idea that we should never forget, the Foundation is doing everything it can to ensure that the Towers of Light will be illuminated again, the charity said in a statement.
In a tweet, Staten Island Councilor Joe Borelli praised the organization for coming on the board after criticizing the decision to cancel the event.
Mayor Bill de Blasio came under criticism after the museum that normally organizes the event tried to cancel. However, he has no direct control over the museum
Last update: problem solved. We should all pay our thanks to the Tunnel to Tower Foundation. They get the job done. The Tribute in Lights will happen! he tweeted.
The lights first appeared in March 2002, six months after the attack, when they were originally organized by the Municipal Art Association.
They can be seen up to 60 miles each year in the days leading up to 9/11 and stretch up to six kilometers into the sky.
The lights are usually turned on at dusk and shine through the night until dawn on September 12.
It has become one of the signature elements of the annual commemorations, and the monument and museum took over the organization of the tribute in 2012.