Tribute returns: Health workers to bring back annual 9/11 light beams

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FILE – In this Sept. 11, 2012 file photo, The Tribute in Light lights up lower Manhattan in New York. Plans are back on to beam twin columns of light into the Manhattan sky to represent the World Trade Center during next month’s anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, that it is working on plans to shine the twin beams during its alternative 9/11 ceremony. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The annual light display honoring victims of 9/11 is back on, officials announced Saturday, saying New York health officials will supervise this year’s tribute to ensure workers’ safety amid concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

The announcement came days after the National September 11 Memorial & Museum canceled the Tribute in Light over concerns the coronavirus might spread among crews creating twin columns of light to represent the World Trade Center in the Manhattan sky.

Alice Greenwald, president and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, thanked former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Cuomo and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation “for their assistance in offsetting the increased costs associated with the health and safety considerations around the tribute this year.”

“This year, its message of hope, endurance and resilience are more important than ever,” Greenwald said in a statement.

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.

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