Sixteen years ago, New York City, and the country as a whole, fell victim to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. These events will forever have its effect on New York City and the country, but in the 16 years since, New Yorkers have shown resiliency through those dark times and have proven that nothing can break the city’s spirit. Here are ten ways to commemorate 9/11 in New York City this year.
12. Tribute in Light
Six months following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Tribute in Light memorial had been assembled on the roof of the Battery Parking Garage for the first time and then every year since from dusk to dawn on the anniversary.
The tribute consists of two beams of light, shooting four miles into New York City’s sky, echoing the shape of the Twin Towers. The lights are produced by 88 7,000-watt light bulbs arranged into two 48-foot squares. The tribute can be seen from a 60 mile radius surrounding Lower Manhattan on a clear night.
2017 marks the first year in which the Tribute in Light will be presented by a sponsor, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, who along with helping install the display, has also aided the 9/11 memorial by starting a program that allows small, local businesses in Lower Manhattan support the Tribute in Light.
11. Port Authority Remembrance Service
The Port Authority will hold its annual, interfaith remembrance service at St. Peter’s Church in Lower Manhattan, starting at 2 p.m. on Monday, September 11th. The event will honor the 84 Port Authority employees who were killed during the attacks, as well as the victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
In addition to the service, the Port Authority will also fly the world’s largest free-flying flag at the George Washington Bridge from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the same day.
10. Volunteer at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
In commemoration of 9/11, the nation’s largest day of service will be taking place at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Monday, September 11, 2017 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thousands of New Yorkers will be participating in the event, where more than 2,500 volunteers will pack 500,000+ healthy meals for those in need, and to aid communities hit by Hurricane Harvey.
9. Mass at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral at 273 Mott Street in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan will be hosting a special mass on the morning of September 11. The church’s mass has been known to attract many notable people, including many firemen and celebrities like Steve Buscemi who all gather to honor the victims of 9/11.
St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral has also recently acquired a few new employees to keep their courtyard groomed. The church has hired sheep for the fifth consecutive year to nibble on the grass.
8. Visit The Survivor Tree
The tree was discovered the October following the attacks, buried below rubble, broken and burnt at Ground Zero. Workers removed the tree and gave it to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to recover and rehabilitate. The tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010 where it was made a prominent part of the Memorial.
The Survivor Tree stands as a constant reminder that regardless of what we as a city, and nation, have been through, there is always a way to grow.
7. Marine Park Memorial
New York State Senator Martin Golden will once again host a pair of annual September 11 memorials this year, one on the American Veterans Memorial 69th Street Pier and another in Marine Park.
The annual candle light ceremony features guest speakers, patriotic music, and other ceremonies. The ceremony at Marine Park will also be honoring the lives of those who risked their lives to help in the aftermath of the attacks.
6. FDNY Memorial Wall
On June 10, 2006, the law firm Holland & Knight presented a 56-foot bronze sculpture to the ladder company dedicated to the 343 members of the New York City Fire Department, as well as fellow law firm partner and volunteer firefighter Glenn J. Winuk, who passed away that day.
The memorial is a constant dedication to “those who fell and those who carry on.”
5. “Teardrop Memorial” in Bayonne, New Jersey
Despite its controversial history, the 10-story sculpture, “To the Struggle Against World Terrorism” by Zurab Tsereteli, stands in Bayonne, New Jersey as a grand memorial to the attacks on 9/11.
The “Teardrop Memorial,” as it is more commonly known as, was erected in 2006 as a gift from Russia. The sculpture features a long tear drop made of nickel surrounded by jagged edges of bronze. Below the sculpture are granite plates engraved with the names of the 9/11 victims.
In 2011, a piece of steel was escorted to the memorial and placed next to the sculpture.
4. Postcards on Staten Island
Postcards is a 9/11 tribute monument on the North Shore Waterfront Esplanade on Staten Island dedicated to the Staten Island residents who lost their lives on September 11, as well as those in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The memorial, designed by Masayuki Sono, is consisted of two wing-like structures aligned towards where the Twin Towers once stood.
The 275 Staten Islanders are remembered with their own granite plaque engraved with their name, birth date, and a silhouette of their profile looking towards the site of Ground Zero.
3. Official 9/11 Memorial Tour
The Official 9/11 Memorial Tour by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is a 45-minute walking tour of the memorial site. Visitors will be led around the pools by a museum staff member, rain or shine, and will learn about the symbolism behind the memorial’s design.
The museum guide will take guests through the events of September 11, 2001 as they unfolded and explain the significance and history of the World Trade Center.
2. St. Paul’s Chapel
St. Paul’s Chapel stands directly across the street from the site of The World Trade Center. As the towers collapsed on that tragic day sixteen years ago just across the street, no harm was done to St. Paul’s. The chapel became known as “The Little Chapel that Stood” and became a relief ministry in the months that followed for relief and rescue workers to rest and pray.
St. Paul’s will ring the Bell of Hope at exactly 8:46 AM., the time the plane crashed into the North Tower, in the pattern of “four fives.” Later in the evening, the second annual Calling of the Names Ceremony will be held to remember the 9/11 responders, rescue and recovery workers, and volunteers who sacrificed their well-being and have since passed away.
1. 9/11 Tribute Museum Guided Tour
The 9/11 Tribute Museum is the project of the September 11th Families’ Association, a group that aims to pair those looking to learn more about the events on September 11, with those who experienced it first hand and survived.
Unlike the 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s official tour, the tribute museum’s guided tour of the memorial takes viewers through the memorial lead by survivors, rescue workers, family members, civilian volunteers, and Lower Manhattan residents, all who experienced the tragic events first hand. Participants will hear the guide’s story about the events, as well as the aftermath, and learn about the history of the Towers.
The tour last approximately 75-minutes, so walking shoes are recommended.
*Tickets for the tour on 9/11’s anniversary are currently unavailable, but are still available every other day.
Next, check out 13 Powerful World Trade Center Artifacts and Memorials on Display in NYC: Tribute in Light, Trinity Root, FDNY Memorial, Survivor Tree, or The Top 10 Secrets of the 9/11 Memorial in NYC. Get in touch with the author on Instagram @mjohnathonrich.