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New Yorkers have possibly suffered more pain and loss than any city in the country with the crisis of COVID-19. Although the situation has improved, the remaining fears and questions perpetuate the emotional impact of the virus. But there are those who choose to make sure that New Yorkers and Americans are beaten down even more before they can begin their recovery.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum has decided to cancel the “Tribute in Lights” conducted to remember and honor those who died on 9/11 in the Twin Towers, their families, and those who were present that day. Their excuse was that they had health and safety concerns:
Due to impacts of COVID-19, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and Michael Ahern Production Services (MAPS) made the very difficult decision to not move forward with Tribute in Light this year. This year’s cancellation stems from health and safety concerns and underscores the far-reaching consequences of the global health crisis. As the pandemic continues to surge throughout the country, it was necessary to consider the health and safety of the nearly 40 stagehands who work in close proximity to produce Tribute in Light. For multiple weeks in August and September, crew members work hours-long shifts at Battery Parking Garage to prepare for the production on the night of September 11. The facilities and the complex installation which requires stagehands to work closely together do not align with recommended COVID-19 health and safety precautions.
Governor Cuomo has even announced that New York conditions have improved sufficiently to allow many facilities to re-open on a limited basis.
I simply don’t believe the excuse the Memorial board has given. First, I question the number of people needed for weeks on end to set up the spotlights; I suspect this process is overburdened by union and other excessive requirements. Second, I think there are some who want to intensify the suffering of the people of New York as a way to create even more emotional debilitation; it will add to the depression and hopelessness that is already at a record high.
But I think there are political motives involved as well. There are those on the Left who want to create the perception that the country is in a disastrous state: they know that the lights will not only lift spirits, but they will inspire a patriotic energy that will bring people together. They also don’t want to do anything that might generate anti-Muslim feelings.
Whatever the cost, I hope that the 9/11 Memorial and Museum transcends its destructive decision and helps New Yorkers continue their healing process.Published in