The two ghostly columns of blue light that rose from near ground zero each year on September 11, replicating the shape of the Twin Towers destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attacks, will not be projected into the sky this year because of coronavirus concerns. It takes almost 40 stagehands and electricians working in proximity for more than a week to create the tribute that is turned on around dusk and shines through the night until the dawn of September 12. Instead, the museum is planning to mark the anniversary by having buildings across the city illuminating their spires and facades with blue lights. Over the years, the Tribute in Light has provided an opportunity for silent reflection on lives lost and a reminder of the physical structures. Another major change this year is that the commemoration will not include relatives on stage reading the names of the 2,983 victims lost that day. Instead, recorded readings of names made by family members will be read.
As flags are flown at half staff and other commemoration ceremonies take place across the country, take a moment to read the prayer Pope Benedict XVII delivered on his visit to the site of the attack on the World Trade Center in 2008.
For more reflections and resources from the USCCB on Patriot Day, click here.