Reversing course, Sept. 11 museum says annual memorial tribute will happen this year

The state government offered to help with health and safety logistics.

Updated: August 15, 2020 - 5:13pm

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The 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City said on Saturday that its annual tribute to the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks will occur this year, reversing an earlier decision to cancel the yearly demonstration out of concerns that it could facilitate the spread of COVID-19. 

Memorial officials had worried that the Tribute in Light—which requires a few dozen workers to project the two beams of light representing the fallen World Trade Center towers—might result in an outbreak of the coronavirus due to the close proximity the crew must maintain during setup. 

But museum officials reversed that decision on Saturday, announcing that the display had been greenlit with assistance from the state.

The organization “believe[s] we will be able to stage the tribute in a safe and appropriate fashion,” President & CEO Alice Greenwald state in a statement.

Greenwald said that former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, State Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp had offered to help with “the increased costs associated with the health and safety considerations” associated with the project this year.

Cuomo in a statement acknowledged “the Museum’s concern for health and safety.”

“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,” Cuomo said.

The demonstration was first produced as a temporary display in 2002, a year after the attacks, before subsequently becoming a yearly installation. 

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