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Tribute in Light will shine after all, officials say
The Tribute in Light shines above visitors at the National September 11 Memorial in New York, Sept. 11, 2014. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said the state would provide the health personnel and supervision so that the display, which has memorialized the attacks on the Twin Towers since 2002, could safely continue in 2020. Kirsten Luce/The New York Times.

by Aimee Ortiz

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The National September 11 Memorial & Museum’s Tribute in Light will shine this year after all, officials said Saturday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said the state would provide the health personnel and supervision so that the display, which has memorialized the attacks on the twin towers since 2002, could safely continue.

The museum announced Thursday that the tribute, which features 88 specially made lights used to create the projections that tower over the city until dawn Sept. 12, needed to be canceled as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

It takes a team of about 40 stagehands and electricians working closely on the installation for more than a week to get it ready.

The lights create two ghostly towers that are beamed into the sky from near ground zero. On a clear night, they can be seen from 60 miles away.

“In the last 24 hours we’ve had conversations with many interested parties and believe we will be able to stage the tribute in a safe and appropriate fashion,” Alice Greenwald, the president and chief executive of the museum, said in a statement on Twitter.

The museum has produced the tribute for the past eight years, she said, and “we recognize the profound meaning it has for so many New Yorkers.”

“This year, its message of hope, endurance and resilience” is more important than ever, she said.

She thanked the governor, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. “for their assistance in offsetting the increased costs associated with the health and safety considerations around the tribute this year, and the technical support of so many that will enable the Tribute to be a continuing source of comfort to families and an inspiration to the world going forward.”

The memorial and museum have not been immune to the fallout from the pandemic. A drop in ticket sales drove the organization to institute layoffs and furloughs in June. The outdoor memorial reopened July 4, but the museum remained closed.

On Saturday, Bloomberg said that throughout his tenure as mayor, “the Tribute in Light was a powerful symbol of New York’s recovery after 9/11.”

Bloomberg, who is also chair of the museum, said on Twitter that he was “glad we will continue this tradition and remind the world of NY’s strength.”

© 2020 The New York Times Company

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