Just days after it was announced that the annual twin beams of light representing the World Trade Center towers won't be beamed into the sky during this year due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, it looks like the lights will shine after all.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, “This year it is especially important that we all appreciate and commemorate 9/11, the lives lost and the heroism displayed as New Yorkers are once again called upon to face a common enemy."  Officials have announced that now, New York health officials will supervise this year's tribute to ensure workers' safety amid concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is working on plans to make sure the tradition continues with Gov. Cuomo's support. "The twin beams of light that shine over lower Manhattan in silent tribute to those lost on 9/11 are an iconic symbol of hope visibly showing that light will always triumph over darkness," said Frank Siller, chairman and chief executive of the foundation.

Unfortunately, last month, organizers of the annual 9/11 memorial event cited the pandemic as the reason for canceling one of the most moving and important parts of previous memorials. Each year personal messages are spoken by families of victims. Organizers from the National September 11 Memorial & Museum will instead use recorded name readings from the museum's “In Memoriam” exhibition instead of having relatives read the names in person.

Tunnel to Towers Foundation had announced they would be holding an alternative 9/11 Never Forget ceremony. Their tribute will be held just south of the memorial plaza and  will allow relative that attend to read the victims' names, with mask-wearing enforced and podiums being sanitized after each speaker.

Having the chance to spend time at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in December, the significance of memorializing the day has become much more clear. Reading the stories, seeing the images and remnants, listening to the first hand accounts of those who survived the attack and those who lost loved ones makes the desire to have some sort of memorial very clear.

If you have the chance to visit NYC in the future, take the time...actually MAKE the time to visit the memorial and museum. Take your children, especially if they were too young to remember the day it happened. Truly moving.

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