Hundreds of people from all over the United States gathered in the streets of lower Manhattan on April 14 to catch a final glimpse of the beams of light that were lit a month ago serving as a temporary memorial of the World Trade Center.
Coined as the “Tribute in Light,” the two powerful beams (made up of highly powerful searchlights) were turned on during dusk and shut down at 11 p.m. every night for the past few months, representing the twin towers, which were destroyed on Sept. 11.
The temporary memorial was located near the northwest corner of the trade center plaza. When lit, the beams of light could be seen more than 20 miles away from the site.
According to CNN, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he believed the “Tribute in Light” turned out to be a wonderful memorial for those lost, and he wants to make sure something is done permanently that will memorialize the 2,800 people that died.
The “Tribute in Light” is said to be such a success that many want the tribute to become a permanent part in the planning of the future WTC memorial.
Although the project is gaining rapid popularity, keeping the beams lit are quickly becoming an issue. According to organizers of the “Tribute in Light,” the estimated cost for keeping the 616,000-watt tribute lit for a month cost about $10,000.
The money that allowed the beams to be lit was donated by a variety of groups, such as AOL-Time Warner, General Electric and Con Edison. If the site is to become permanent, more funding will be needed and costs will have to be closely considered.
Katie Keohane, a senior, occupational therapy major at Quinnipiac, thinks that the “Tribute in Light” would be a good idea as a permanent memorial, but also believes that the project needs to be well organized.
“I think it would be a good addition if it was realistic…that is, it could be added to the memorial efficiently because it would mean a lot to people,” she said. “But at the same time, it would be horrible if they anticipated the tribute to run permanently, but had to shut it off mid-year because they couldn’t afford to operate it.”
Focus on a permanent memorial has been in effect and should be finalized by late spring or early summer.