Tribute in Light airs from Lower Manhattan to remember the 19th anniversary of September 11

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Two powerful columns of light radiate across the Lower Manhattan sky this evening to represent the fallen World Trade Center Twin Towers that were attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about changes to the usual ceremonies that traditionally take place on the tragic date.

In New York, the annual tribute was nearly canceled after the 9/11 memorial and museum said there was a risk of the installation team being infected with viruses until outcry reinstated the tribute .

The Tribute in Light shines in the skies of Manhattan, New York to mark the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks

Beams of light shine high in the night sky above one of the huge pools that are in the 'footprints' of the original towers

Beams of light shine high in the night sky above one of the huge swimming pools that are in the ‘footprints’ of the original towers

The Statue of Liberty is seen as a tribute to the shining light in downtown Manhattan to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum

The Statue of Liberty is seen as a tribute to the shining light in downtown Manhattan to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum

The Tribute to Light seen from Brooklyn with the Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground and the reflections of the East River

The Tribute to Light seen from Brooklyn with the Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground and the reflections of the East River

Tribute in Light, two vertical columns of light representing the fallen towers of the World Trade Center glow against the Manhattan skyline, as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey

Tribute in Light, two vertical columns of light representing the fallen towers of the World Trade Center glow against the Manhattan skyline, as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey

The cancellation outraged relatives of some of the victims, police and fire unions and politicians, who noted that construction sites around the city were deemed safe for reopening months ago.

The fire department cited the virus as urging members not to observe the 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, including nearly 350 firefighters.

After the Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced that it would host the exhibit itself, Governor Andrew Cuomo and former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire president of the memorial, stepped in to keep the lights at the memorial on.

“This year, it is especially important that we all appreciate and commemorate September 11, the lives lost and heroism displayed as New Yorkers are once again called to face a common enemy,” Cuomo said in a statement. “I understand the Museum’s concern for health and safety and appreciate their re-examination. The state will provide health personnel to supervise to ensure the event is conducted safely while properly honoring 9/11. We will never forget.’

The annual Tribute in Light of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum was initially canceled this year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  However, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo overturned the decision, announcing that the state will provide health workers and supervision to maintain the lighting installation.

The annual Tribute in Light of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum was initially canceled this year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo overturned the decision, announcing that the state will provide health workers and supervision to maintain the lighting installation.

The Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center are seen as a tribute to the shining light in downtown Manhattan

The Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center are seen as a tribute to the shining light in downtown Manhattan

Roses are seen at the 9/11 memorial as the Tribute in Light art installation shines in the sky over Manhattan on Friday night

Roses are seen at the 9/11 memorial as the Tribute in Light art installation shines in the sky over Manhattan on Friday night

Firefighters from the New York Fire Department (FDNY) stand on their trucks in front of the 9/11 memorial as the Tribute in Light art installation shines in the sky over Manhattan

Firefighters from the New York Fire Department (FDNY) stand on their truck in front of the 9/11 memorial as the Tribute in Light art installation shines in the sky over Manhattan

Relatives of some victims say they understand that the respect for absolute zero must have changed in a year when so many other things have changed.

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum also quashed its tradition of asking loved ones to read aloud the names of the dead and instead offered a recording to those gathered at the World Trade Center site.

According to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the twin beams of light are made up of 88 7,000-watt xenon bulbs that are positioned on two 48-foot squares – echoing the shape and orientation of the twin tower.

The lights stretch for four miles in the sky and can be seen within a 60 mile radius of Lower Manhattan.

The Tribute in Light came on at dusk Friday and will light up the sky overnight until dawn Saturday.

The flight and glass towers of the Lower Manhattan Financial Center are seen, eclipsed by the soaring beams of the Tribute in Light

The flight and glass towers of the Lower Manhattan Financial Center are seen, eclipsed by the soaring beams of the Tribute in Light

A white rose is seen at the 9/11 memorial as the Tribute in Light art installation shines in the night sky

A white rose is seen at the 9/11 memorial as the Tribute in Light art installation shines in the night sky

Buildings in lower Manhattan are all illuminated by the Tribute in Light towering over the iconic city skyline

Buildings in lower Manhattan are all illuminated by the Tribute in Light towering over the iconic city skyline

Another view of the moving tribute seen from the Brooklyn side of the East River, across downtown Manhattan

Another view of the moving tribute seen from the Brooklyn side of the East River, across downtown Manhattan

The Homage to Light is from images seen from New York's Queens neighborhood

The homage to light is from images seen from the New York neighborhood of Queens

Lady Liberty is pictured holding her golden torch directly in the center of the two powerful beams of light as part of the tribute

Lady Liberty is pictured holding her golden torch directly in the center of the two powerful beams of light as part of the tribute

People take time to view the tribute to the 19th anniversary of the bombings, seen from Jersey City across the Hudson River

People take time to view the tribute to mark the 19th anniversary of the bombings, seen from Jersey City across the Hudson River

Even from a few miles away, the lights can be seen as they illuminate the night sky of the country's largest city.

Even from a few miles away, the lights can be seen as they illuminate the night sky of the country’s largest city.

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