New York’s 9/11 Tribute Has Been Cancelled This Year Over Coronavirus Concerns

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 14 Aug 2020 18:43
New York's 9/11 Tribute Has Been Cancelled This Year Over Coronavirus ConcernsCharlie Cocksedge

New York’s annual 9/11 tribute has been cancelled this year due to concerns over the ongoing health crisis.

Following the heartbreaking terrorist attack that killed almost 3,000 people in 2001, there has been a memorial every year, with the first being held on September 11, 2002.


To remember the harrowing day, two pillars of light are projected into the sky from a site near Ground Zero to represent the Twin Towers. The light is usually projected from dusk of September 11 until dawn the following day. However, for the attack’s 19th anniversary, the lights won’t be projected like they usually are.

9/11PA Images

A statement on the 9/11 Memorial & Museum website read:

Tribute in Light, the world’s beloved twin beams of light, will not shine over lower Manhattan as part of this year’s 9/11 commemoration. 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.

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.


While people don’t typically gather in large groups to look at the lights, the main concerns were for the crews that assemble them, who would have to work in close proximity to one another.

Almost 40 stagehands and electricians work in proximity for more than a week as part of producing the tribute, which consists of 88 specially made Space Cannon lights. It’s said the lights can be seen from up to 60 miles away, The New York Times reports.

PA Images

Michael Frazier, a memorial and museum spokesperson, said the decision to not go ahead with this year’s tribute came ‘after concluding the health risks during the pandemic were far too great for the large crew’.


While the tribute won’t go ahead as usual, the occasion will be commemorated in a different way. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum will be partnering with NYC & Company to light up different building’s facades and spires in blue throughout the city.

As well as disrupting this year’s tribute, the pandemic has seen the museum temporarily close its doors and resorting to several layoffs and furloughs. While the outdoor memorial reopened July 4, the museum itself remains closed for the timebeing.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, 9/11, Anniversary, New York, tribute, US News


New York Times and 1 other
  1. New York Times

    9/11 Tribute Lights Won’t Be Projected Into Sky This Year

  2. 9/11 Memorial & Museum

    Tribute In Light