911 Tribute in Light

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The 9/11 Tribute in Light is a solemn and powerful commemorative art installation that illuminates the New York City skyline every year on the anniversary of the 11 September attacks. 

This iconic tribute features twin beams of light projected into the night sky, symbolizing the Twin Towers that proudly dotted the New York skyline.

What does Tribute in Light Signify?

The Tribute in Light signifies remembrance, resilience, and unity in the aftermath of the attacks. 

The twin beams of light rising into the night sky symbolize hope, healing, and the enduring memory of the Twin Towers while also honoring the strength and unity of the American people in the face of adversity.

Artists John Bennett, Gustavo Bonevardi, Richard Nash Gould, Julian LeVardiere, and Paul Myoda conceptualized the project with lighting input from Paul Marantz. 

The Municipal Art Society and Creative Time collaborated on the unique public art piece.

It has been under the auspices of the 911 Memorial & Museum since 2012 when it took over the lease for the Battery Parking Garage, where the light fixtures are located.

Timings of 9/11 Tribute in Light

The homage lights up the sky on 11 September every year. 

The 9/11 Memorial Museum welcomes the general public to view this particular homage from the Memorial Plaza from 3 pm to midnight.

About the Lights 

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation funded the homage as it began on the six-month anniversary of the attacks and has continued to support it for years after that.

The twin beams, assembled on the Battery Parking Garage roof south of the 9/11 Memorial, reach up to four miles into the sky.

They are made up of eighty-eight 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs arranged in two 48-foot squares, reflecting the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers. 

The installation can also be seen from a radius of 60 miles around Lower Manhattan.

Every year, a team of several dozen technicians and lighting professionals collaborate to install 88 enormous spotlights over many days, splitting them into two 48-foot squares positioned to imitate the shape and orientation of the towers. 

They appear in the night sky at the approximate site of the original towers.

Want to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum? Check out the tickets for the 9/11 Memorial to enhance your trip to New York City!

Viewing Points of 9/11 Tribute in Light

The beams will shine four miles into the sky and can be seen from 60 miles away, beginning at dusk and lasting until daybreak. 

You can glimpse the iconic monument anywhere in the city or neighboring areas, but we’ve compiled a few outstanding viewing sites.

The Chapel of St. Paul

St. Paul’s is across the street from the original location of the Twin Towers and has been dubbed “The Little Chapel That Stood” because it remained standing after the World Trade Centers collapsed. 

You can look at the 9/11 Tribute in Light from here.

The Bell of Hope (a gift from London following the 9/11 attacks) rings at 8.46 am on 11 September, the exact time the first jet impacted the North Tower. 

It is then followed by a traditional fireman’s salute to memorialize those who have died.

Washington Square Park

The Washington Square Arch provided a beautiful perspective of the Twin Towers. 

Today, it’s a lovely site to see the Tribute in Light.

Viewed from an Observation Deck

Numerous observation platforms provide breathtaking views of the city. 

The top deck of the Empire State Building, directly north of the memorial lights, will be illuminated in memory of 9/11. 

The Hudson Yards Edge outdoor terrace is also fantastic for viewing the Tribute in Light.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Light beams flare high over the Manhattan cityscape across the East River. 

Brooklyn Bridge Park is large enough, and you may find a peaceful location to enjoy.

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

The Brooklyn Heights Interfaith Clergy Association has held a candlelight vigil and commemoration along the Promenade for the past 20 years. 

It’s an emotional sight and experience, with stunning views of the Tribute in Light across the lake.

American Veterans Memorial Pier

This memorial honors the 283 Brooklyn residents who died on 11 September. 

The Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan are visible from the pier, providing excellent views of the Tribute in Light.

911 Memorial Park in Queens

This location in the Rockaways was formerly an empty area where neighborhood inhabitants stood and watched the Twin Towers collapse. 

On the 11 September anniversary, the park remembers the events of 9/11, and visitors may view the unmistakable beams soaring into the sky.

The Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry provides a spectacular perspective of Manhattan. 

Seeing the homage from afar, mirrored on the river, with the Statue of Liberty in view, is an unforgettable experience.

Liberty State Park

The Staten Island Ferry
Image: USnews.com

Liberty State Park in New Jersey, located opposite Liberty and Ellis Islands, is a public park where tourists may see the beams from across the Hudson. 

Endless Sky, a memorial to the 749 New Jersey citizens killed on 9/11, is also located here.

Eagle Rock Reservation

This 400+ acre park offers New York City skyline vistas and the iconic 9/11 beams visible from the New Jersey hillside. 

The park also features a 9/11 memorial and will hold a solemn remembrance event.

Every New Yorker remembers their personal experiences from that day and silently pays tribute to the lives lost on 11 September. 

The 9/11 Tribute in Light event is an excellent lesson in preservation: remembering the past, making us more robust for the future.

Pro Tip: Most visitors book their 911 Museum tickets in advance for a smooth and hassle free visit.

Featured Image: 911memorial.org

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