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July 6, 2017 Comments (0) Views: 486 Nostalgia

‘Tribute in Light’: columns of light to represent the Twin Towers in remembrance of 9 / 11

The world was shocked when the World Trade Center landmark Twin Towers collapsed as hijackers used airplanes and conducted attacks on September 11, 2001. It was a moment of total terror and darkness.

To commemorate the thousands of victims who either lost their lives or were injured in the attacks, local architects and artists have come up with a captivating light installation as a way to remembrance.

In the beginning, the Tribute in Light was nothing more than a temporary installation that was on from March 11 through April 12, 2002, but then the action was relaunched in 2003 to mark the second anniversary of the attack. Back in 2008, it was announced that would be the final year to set the installation, but the tribute went on in 2009, and as of 2016, it is to be repeated every year on September 11.

World Trade Center, New York , aerial view March 2001, photo credit

Now a tradition, this thoughtful art installation uses 88 searchlights, placed next to the site where once the World Trade Center stood. Representing the Twin Tower, it is a bitter-sweet way to remembrance of the horrifying September 11 attacks. The installation is produced annually thanks to the efforts of the Municipal Art Society in New York.

People who got involved with this initiative would come up with the concept very quickly through September 2001. As the Manhattan’s skyline partly lost its soul, by losing its two twin towers, architects were fast to answer a call of not only commemorating the victims but providing a reconstruction of the skyline. Some later provided solutions to restore the skyline have also been far fetched.

Towers of Light, Sept. 11, 2009, from the ProPublica office on One Exchange Plaza, photo credit

However, the idea of placing two large searchlights near the disaster site, that would project light upward onto the sky, easily took off. In preparations, the project was given a helping hand of experts who knew at best how high-intensity light displays. So a Las Vegas -based company named Light America, would take the task and test the lighting fixtures in the Las Vegas Valleys before moving the installation to the World Trade Center site.

Originally, the project was supposed to be named Towers of Lights, however, in order to avoid emphasize of the buildings destroyed instead of the thousands of lives lost, the name was switched to Tribute in Light.

In 2010, as seen from Brooklyn, photo credit

When the searchlights show up on clear nights, the light fixtures can be seen from a radius of over 60 miles (97 km), meaning it is visible in all of New York City and most suburban areas such as Northern New Jersey and Long Island, Fairfield County, Connecticut Westchester County, Orange County, New York and Rockland County New York, among other areas.

Supposedly, a permanent light fixture of the Tribute in Light was supposed to be installed on the roof of the newly built One World Trade Center, but that was never realized due to a redesign of the spire feature of the new trade center building.

The Tribute in Light on the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center, photo credit

Some interesting facts about the Tribute in Light say that in 2008, the generators that produced the power for the light installation, have been fueled with biodiesel made from used cooking oil collected from local and nearby restaurants.

Moreover, the lights have so far caused confusion for thousand of migrating birds, trapping them in the beams, and requiring the lights be switched off for 20-minutes periods to allow the birds to escape.

We also thought to remind you of how the Sydney Opera House was built.


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