Sunday night's annual "Tribute In Light" memorial to the World Trade Center was very close to the rising One World Trade Center tower, but organizers said low funds could make the memorial go permanently dark after this year. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner spoke with onlookers on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and filed the following report.
As the sun set and night sky darkened Sunday, two beams of light appeared above Lower Manhattan. The annual "Tribute In Light" memorial was one of the earliest September 11th memorials, appearing in the city skies for the time in March 2002.
Many onlookers on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade said it is still one of the most poignant.
"I think it's incredibly beautiful. It's very moving," said a viewer.
Each beam is made up of 88 7,000-watt lights. The beams are visible for 60 miles and as far away as outer space.
But perhaps one of the best views is from Brooklyn's promenade, where thousands gathered to take photos and be alone with their thoughts, even in a crowd.
"Standing here, it feels kind of meditative. Like a prayer for the people who crossed, the spirits who crossed," said a viewer.
The memorial has lit up the sky every year since 2002. For those who live in Brooklyn Heights, its return marks a chance to see something fill the void in their skyline.
"I saw the World Trade Center, I saw them every day. I watched them fall and I've seen the memorial lights every year since then," said a local.
However, this may be the memorial's final year. Funding for the project has run out and orgnaizers are hoping to raise public funds to keep it going.
"It's just so beautiful, kind of like almost a ghost memorial in the sky, and I think it would be something we would really miss," said an onlooker.
This was the first year onlookers could view the One World Trade Center tower in the city skyline alongside the "Tribute In Light," and many said that was a true sign of progress.
"Seeing the light and the memory of the towers, but also seeing the tower One [WTC] rising quickly into the sky, and seeing it illuminated tonight is think makes it even more special," said a viewer.
To find out more about donating to the Tribute In Light, visit mas.org.