This Year, 9/11 Names Won't Be Read

A recording will be played instead, to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2020 4:03 PM CDT
Families Won't Read 9/11 Victims' Names This Year
People visit the 9/11 Memorial Plaza during its reopening July 4, after being shut down to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

The pandemic has affected the commemoration of another painful loss of life. The families of 9/11 victims meet each year at the September 11 Memorial & Museum on the anniversary of their deaths. Someone from each family reads the name of their loved one and a tribute, a ceremony that now includes nearly grown young people honoring a parent they don't remember or didn't even know. But this September, the families will instead listen to a recording of the names being read, NBC reports, from the In Memoriam exhibition at the museum. The museum emailed the families with the change, saying other parts of the event are going ahead so far. "Our hope is to gather on the Memorial plaza, adhering to state and federal guidelines as they relate to social distancing and public gatherings," the email said.

Six moments of silence still will be observed, per the New York Post, marking the exact times each of the two World Trade Center towers was struck and collapsed, the attack on the Pentagon, and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. The memorial, which is outdoors, was closed in March because of the coronavirus outbreak but was reopened on July 4. The museum is still closed. If it reopens in time, families alone will be allowed inside on Sept. 11. "Around the world, people are responding to the COVID-19 crisis with compassion, generosity, and a sense of community," the email said, "much like they did in the aftermath of 9/11." (Families explained why they attend the ceremony every year.)

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