Facing mounting outrage over its decision to cancel the Tribute in Light, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum has backed down and agreed to stage the beloved display on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
“In the last 24 hours we’ve had conversations with many interested parties and believe we will be able to stage the tribute in a safe and appropriate fashion,” CEO Alice Greenwald said in a statement.
Greenwald had announced on Thursday that it would drop the commemoration, featuring twin beams shining in the sky over Ground Zero, for fear of exposing some 40 electrical workers to COVID-19.
But the decision stirred widespread opposition in New York and around the country.
Immediately, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation stepped up to create the same light show on the evening of September 11.
Electricians who had erected the lights in earlier years volunteered to help, and the Siller foundation planned to hire others who had lost work on Broadway, CEO Frank Siller, whose firefighter brother died on 9/11, told The Post.
Firefighter and police unions jumped aboard to offer their support.
“Everybody’s upset, everybody. I’ve never seen a reaction like this in the 19 years we’ve been in existence,” Siller said.
Ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg, chairman of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, said in a statement, “Throughout my tenure as Mayor the Tribute in Light was a powerful symbol of New York’s recovery after 911. I am pleased that once again it will shine this year as a beacon of our city’s resilience.”
Gov. Cuomo said, “This year it is especially important that we all appreciate and commemorate 9/11, the lives lost, and the heroism displayed as New Yorkers are once again called upon to face a common enemy.
“I understand the Museum’s concern for health and safety, and appreciate their reconsideration,” he continued. “The state will provide health personnel to supervise to make sure the event is held safely while at the same time properly honoring 9/11. We will never forget.”
Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son Christian was killed in the attacks, was elated at the memorial’s backflip, saying the organization “it was unable to defend their outrageous action.”
She blasted the management and called for the feds to take it over: “It is clear that patriotism, respect, and reverence is needed at Ground Zero. It’s time for the National Park Service to assume operations and control of the 9/11 Memorial.”
Featured and Top Image Courtesy Of Joshua Siniscal Flickr – Creative Commons License