Towering beams of light representing the Twin Towers will not be part of this year’s 9/11 commemoration, with event organizers saying that a highlight of the anniversary is now cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.
The memorial said that it had made “an incredibly hard decision” to cancel the spectacle, but since “a large crew” is required to make it happen, the event entails “far too great” of a risk amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead of the annual display that first pierced the skies over New York City in 2002 – visible all the way to Northern New Jersey and Long Island – the museum said it would encourage buildings “to light up their facades and spires in blue.”
It’s so far unclear how many of the city’s buildings will join in the initiative.
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The cancellation of the original event has left many netizens dumbfounded, drawing backlash from the New York government’s critics, such as former NYC police commissioner Bernard Kerik.
“9/11 ‘Tribute in Light’ Poses a Health Risk? Really! There is no greater health risk than that taken on September 11, 2001 by those of us that were there, and those lost,” Kerik tweeted.
9/11 ‘Tribute in Light’ Poses a Health Risk? Really! There is no greater health risk than that taken on September 11, 2001 by those of us that were there, and those lost. https://t.co/DirUODcmCy
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) August 14, 2020
“This is completely dishonorable and disgraceful. I’m ashamed to be from this city right now,” another commenter said.
First, they cancelled the reading of names. Now they can’t even put the lights up in commemoration.
This is completely dishonorable and disgraceful. I’m ashamed to be from this city right now.https://t.co/BKuWjOiy1b
— Cop With Attitude (Notable Exception) (@CopWithAttitude) August 13, 2020
Netziens also took shots at New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose coronavirus policy likely played a role in the event’s call-off.
A heartbreaking video of starving New Yorkers fighting for some bread in Time Square.
This comes at the same time as Bill de Blasio cancels the 9/11 ‘Tribute in Light’ due to coronavirus concerns.
What a clown! pic.twitter.com/DvHojrsUtF
— Joel Fischer (@JFNYC1) August 14, 2020
Last month, de Blasio announced that all large gatherings requiring a city permit will be cancelled through September 30. Conservatives, who have been up in arms over the decision, have accused city authorities of hypocrisy, pointing out that Black Lives Matter protesters have been allowed to roam freely.
“But people can riot and tear down this country. This is disgusting,” actress Anna Khait tweeted.
Bill de Blasio: let’s get together and vandalize 5th Ave in front of Trump Tower.
— Joel Fischer (@JFNYC1) August 13, 2020
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