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5 Ways to Commemorate the Anniversary of September 11 in NYC

Category Guide

|by Danielle Moore |

Pay tribute to New York's fallen heroes

It has been nearly two decades since September 11 became a date that the world would mark forever. The events witnessed that day, and the lives lost, deserve our annual respectful commemoration. New York emerged from this tragedy stronger than ever, however, and has since given birth to a wealth of ways to remember this anniversary.


The Tribute in Light art installation shines annually on 9/11 in New York City, visually echoing the fallen towers (Photo: iStock)

The Tribute in Light art installation shines annually on 9/11 in New York City, visually echoing the fallen towers (Photo: iStock)

9/11 Memorial Guided Tour + Museum
Constructed around, and featuring, many of the architectural remnants of Ground Zero, this museum tells the multifaceted story of the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001. With exhibits devoted to first responders, victims and witnesses alike, this tour includes a guide to give you further context for the many site artifacts contained within.  

St. Paul’s Chapel
A landmark in its own right, this chapel – located just across the street from the scene of the attack – became an essential gathering space following the tragedy. The site is home to the “Calling of the Names Ceremony,” which honors name-by-name those who were first to respond to the attacks, and the chapel bell is rung at the exactly 8:46am, the time of the first attack, every year on 9/11.

Come From Away
This acclaimed one-act production – the recipient of the 2017 Drama Desk Award for Best Musical – looks at 9/11 from a unique perspective. It tells the story of “The Rock,” a small community in Newfoundland that found itself playing host to the 38+ planes rerouted there on the day of the attacks. The hardy folk of a town of 7,000 rallied to accept the strangers in their midst in this tale of courage and compassion in the face of darkness. 

2017 Tunnel to Towers 5K Run Walk (September 30)
Held annually on the last Sunday of September, this event features over 1,500 runners and walkers commemorating the lives of the 343 firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers and many more civilians who lost their lives on September 11. The course traces the path of Stephen Siller, a Firefighter who ran from Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers, and the race benefits the Stephen Siller Foundation.

Tribute in Light
For a beautiful and touching example of how New York commemorates 9/11 every year, look no further than the evening skyline. Tribute in Light is an art installation that, since its inception 6 months following the attacks, has lit up the spot in the New York skyline where the Twin Towers once stood on each successive 9/11. Two separate beams of white light, one for each of the twin towers, stretch four miles high in a skyward salute to the city’s fallen heroes.

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