For the 19th anniversary of 9/11, there is an added poignancy given all the losses caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
It’s true that these two, massive events have completely different circumstances, and are not remotely related. But the horrible results are the same — we have lost too many we love and hold dear, far too soon.
At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic is also complicating 9/11 remembrances as some of the events will have to include pandemic precautions and some memorial events will have to be virtual.
Initially, for 2020, safety and health concerns caused officials of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum to consider not producing the “Tribute in Light” beams that have been so powerful in reminding us what happened.
But former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. pooled resources to offset the increased costs of the health and safety considerations enabling “the tribute to be a continuing source of comfort to families and an inspiration to the world going forward,” says Alice M. Greenwald, president and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, in a prepared statement.
I am glad the twin beams of the “Tribute in Light” will go on despite the challenges of the pandemic. It will help to see the lights especially as many of us may not be able console others with a hug. In fact, more information about what people can do to remember and reflect during the lockdown can be found here: https://bit.ly/3lZXFEq
Overall, the 19th Anniversary Commemoration “will be broadcast through a television pool and will be streamed live at 911memorial.org/live, as in years past,” according to officials of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. “The livestream will begin at approximately 8:40 a.m. ET on Friday, September 11.”
Here is the link to the live broadcast from the website: https://video.ibm.com/911memorial
The museum offers commemorations, exhibitions, and educational programs to honor the 2,983 people killed via terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, on February 26, 1993, and “those who risked their lives to save others and all who demonstrated extraordinary compassion in the aftermath of the attacks,” according to the museum.
And, it is essential that we remember those we lost even though it’s painful.
Every so often, we need to stop and remind ourselves that we are mortal. No matter how big our plans are, events beyond our control can end or change our lives forever.
We should also remember that most of us were at our best following the 9/11 attacks — we set aside the petty disputes, differences, and barriers that separate us. We pulled together in compassion and a common cause.
As we move through one crisis after another, we need to remind ourselves that we are at our best when things are at their worst.