The National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced that the annual Tribute in Light will take on a different form this year. Since 2002, twin beams of blue light have been projected four miles into the sky in remembrance of the terrorist attacks in 2001. The beams of light are so bright, they are visible from 60 miles away.
The beams are generated by eighty-eight 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs, which require a crew of 40 stagehands and electricians to assemble in two 48-foot squares. Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the museum felt it was unsafe to have a large crew work closely together for more than a week to install the lights.
"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," the museum said in a statement on its website.
This year, the tribute will feature buildings around New York City lighting up their facades and spires with blue lights on September 11.
Earlier in the month, the museum announced they would be canceling a ceremony in which victims' family members read the names of the people who died. Instead, they will broadcast a recording of the names.
Museum officials hope to bring the Tribute in Light back for 2021 to mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
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