Do you remember where you were when the Twin Towers came down? If you were old enough to remember, then it’s imprinted on your memory forever. This year, we’d like to give you a guide on how to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Two decades later, hundreds will gather where the Twin Towers once stood proudly in New York City’s skyline. Surviving family and friends will tearfully read the names of those who lost their lives. This has been an annual tradition, but September 11, 2021, weighs differently.
The world is preparing to honor those lost on September 11th from afar. But while you are in the city, we can guide you on how to safely and respectfully commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 in person.
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum are the perfect balance of history and emotion. We’ve briefly mentioned it in a previous blog here. But you really need to experience it for yourself, if you haven’t already.
The 9/11 Memorial
A beautifully constructed outdoor memorial has twin reflective pools to mark where the towers once stood. It’s there you will be able to find the names of the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives. Walk around the pools and read the names, sit and reflect, or utilize the 40-minute audio guide.
Near the memorial pools lies the Memorial Glade. As their site states, the glade honors the rescue efforts and recovery. In another devastating turn, many survivors and rescue workers fell sick or died from their exposure to toxins at the World Trade Center. Sadly, survivors continue to lose their lives in the aftermath.
[Source: 9/11 Memorial Official Site]
The museum not only educates visitors on the 2001 Twin Towers attack, but also the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. There are various exhibitions to explore, which really capture the brevity of that day. And as you walk through the halls of the 110,000 square feet of space, videos and artifacts tell the story from a more personal vantage point.
It’s important to note that on September 11, 2021, family members will read the names of everyone who was lost that day. Since the ceremony is only open to families, visitors will not be permitted to attend in person. However, you can pay your respects at other open times (which you can book and confirm on their website here).
Tribute In Light
The Tribute In Light began six months after the towers fell to honor those who died. Over the years it has also become a symbol of strength for New Yorkers. The lights go up from dusk until dawn, on the night of September 11th.
These powerful lights shine up to four miles in the sky and represent the shape of the Twin Towers. You will have no trouble seeing these lights because they can be viewed from a 60-mile radius around lower Manhattan.
Tunnel To Towers
Finally, another way you can pay your respects is by participating in the Tunnel to Towers run. The origin of this run comes from the story of NY firefighter, Stephen Siller. He wasn’t on duty that day but gathered his equipment to help out. After reaching the entrance of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, he was unable to drive through due to security closures. He put on his 60 pound equipment and ran 2 miles through the tunnel to the World Trade Center. He was then tragically killed as the south tower collapsed.
Stephen’s brother, Frank, formed the Tunnel to Towers Foundation in his honor. Over the years, the foundation has grown along with the runners who participate. You can visit the Tunnel to Towers website for information on the upcoming 5K as well as more about the foundation itself.
September 11, 2021, beginning at 8:45 am EST, marks the 20th anniversary of that fateful day. A day that changed the world.
Heroes emerged that day, but sadly thousands lost their lives. It’s important to remember that in New York City, 2,750 people died. The Pentagon lost 184 lives. And 40 people perished in Pennsylvania when hijackers overtook their plane.
While it’s a somber day, it’s also a reminder of the strong resilience that comes with being a New Yorker. We will never forget.