Toward the end of last week, word spread that the annual commemoration in light by New York City of the lives lost on September 11, 2001, would be nixed, which prompted a tidal wave of disbelief and outcry from Americans across the country. And to add insult to injury, the names of those lost on that terrible day would only be heard on a recording — not read out live by their loved ones.
Finally, it’s back on, according to Fox News.
This week, New York City said the tribute to the victims who died Sept. 11, 2001, would be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But on Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will provide the support needed for the art installation.
“NYS will provide health personnel & supervision so that @Sept11Memorial can mount the Tribute in Light safely,” Cuomo announced on Twitter. “I am glad that we can continue this powerful tribute to those we lost on 9/11 and to the heroism of all New Yorkers. We will #NeverForget.”
Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg will also take part:
“Throughout my tenure as Mayor the Tribute in Light was a powerful symbol of New York’s recovery after 9/11. I am pleased that once again it will shine this year as a beacon of our city’s resilience,” Bloomberg, who chairs the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, said in a statement.
But even as late as last Friday, people weren’t waiting for government to figure this out. Townhall Media writer Ellie Bufkin shared news of an alternate light tribute being planned by the Sergeants Benevolent Association, in a piece titled, “‘The Lights Will Shine on 9/11’: NYPD SBA Vows To Create a Glowing Tribute to Victims, First Responders.”
The day after the 9/11 Memorial & Museum announced they would be canceling their annual Tribute in Light memorial, the Sergeants Benevolent Association of New York City said they would create their own.
In an announcement on Friday afternoon, Mullins slammed the 9/11 Memorial & Museum for their choice to suspend the Tribute in Light, a high beam light installation that has paid tribute to those lost to terrorism in September 2001 every year since the attack. He also laid the blame at the feet of Mayor Bill de Blasio for not speaking out in defense of the light tribute or offering an immediate alternative.
NYC Belongs to the People, The Lights Will Go On… pic.twitter.com/vaAmUbM1lV
— SBA (@SBANYPD) August 14, 2020
And Washington, D.C.’s WMAL spoke with former NYPD officer Rob O’Donnell about the cancellation. In a heart-stirring tweet in advance of “The Larry O’Connor Show” appearance, O’Donnell asked, “Has America already forgotten?”
I will be on @WMALDC with @LarryOConnor today at 4pm to talk about America’s forgotten promise with the cancellation of the 9/11 Tribute of Light under the guise of Covid.
Has America Already Forgotten? pic.twitter.com/VZIVsyRmXn
— Rob O'Donnell (@odonnell_r) August 14, 2020
The Associated Press reports that Tunnel to Towers, a charity organization dedicated to a fallen, 9/11 firefighter, will step up to handle the tradition of the victims’ family members reading out their names:
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation recently decided to hold an alternative 9/11 Never Forget ceremony after the National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced family members won’t read the names of the nearly 3,000 victims this year because of the pandemic.
The foundation’s tribute will be held just south of the memorial plaza and relatives will read the victims’ names, with mask-wearing enforced and podiums being sanitized after each speaker.
What a relief!