The pandemic has killed many more New Yorkers than the 9/11 attacks—and officials don't want the annual commemoration of the terrorist atrocity to add to the total. Organizers say the "Tribute in Light," in which two columns of light are beamed into the sky from the former World Trade Center site, has been called off this year because they don't want infection to spread among the workers, the Wall Street Journal reports. "This incredibly difficult decision was reached in consultation with our partners after concluding the health risks during the pandemic were far too great for the large crew required to produce the annual Tribute in Light," the 9/11 Memorial & Museum said in a statement, per CNN.
Setting up the display of 88 "Space Cannon" lights, which stretches four miles into the sky and can be seen from up to 60 miles away, requires more than 40 electricians and stagehands to work closely together for more than a week, Scott Campbell of event producer Michael Ahern Production Services tells the New York Times. Michael Frazier, a spokesman for the 9/11 museum, says that this year, the anniversary will be honored by buildings across the city lighting their spires and facades in blue. (This year, families will not be reading out the names of victims at the museum.)