Tribute in Light 2021: How the Manhattan skyline will mark 20 years

Remembering 9/11

NEW YORK (PIX11) — The Tribute in Light has become an iconic part of the Sept. 11 remembrance. Adorning the sky from dusk to dawn starting six months after the terror attacks, the twin light beams have become a part of the promise to “never forget” each and every year.

The Tribute in Light is organized by the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The twin beams reach four miles into the sky—and are made up of 88 7,000-watt xenon lightbulbs positioned into two 48-foot squares. The beams are representative of the shape and orientation of the original Twin Towers, and their beauty honors the lives lost and symbolizes the strength of the city.

Preparation for Saturday

Ahead of Saturday’s return of tradition, NEWS10’s sister station in New York City got a behind the scenes look at how it all comes together, with a trial run of sorts taking place Wednesday night. The light installation is assembled on the roof of the Battery Parking Garage, just south of the 9/11 Memorial. Every flip of the switch is done manually to create two rays beaming into the night sky.

On Wednesday, they put the finishing touches on the light installation that is a part of the events that mark the somber remembrance of 9/11 each and every year. The rehearsal went off without a hitch.

Officials set to mark milestone

Earlier in the day, Gov. Kathy Hochul and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the 9/11 Memorial together. The new governor praised Bloomberg for helping the city recover after 9/11.

“Thank you for joining us on a beautiful September morning, not unlike a glorious September morning 20 years ago this week,” said Hochul.  “I wanted to come to this site for reflection, to pay tribute to those lives we lost, and to thank the first responders who survived.”

The pair laid a wreath to honor at the memorial. “The site behind me, we’re stewards of it,” said Bloomberg.  “We have to take care of it and we have an obligation, number one, to have a place for the families can grieve; number two, a place to educate our population as to what happened and how we can prevent that from happening again; and number three, as a center point for the rebirth of New York City.”

The Tribute in Light will be presented from dusk to dawn on the night of Sept. 11. It’s visible for at least a 60-mile radius, illuminating the city, enshrining the enduring spirit of New Yorkers, and echoing the mantra Never Forget.

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