The 19th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks are being altered owing to coronavirus concerns. The September 11 memorial plaza recently announced that it was suspending the tradition of relatives reading out the names of the victims in person citing safety considerations.

“This wasn’t canceled. It’s just been changed in such a way where we still get to pay tribute to our loved ones in a respectful and safe way,” says Anthoula Katsimatides, a board member of the 9/11 memorial. Katsimatides lost her brother John, a bond trader, in the terrorist attack.

Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend the limited remembrances at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza and a corner near the World Trade Center, which was organized by Frank Stiller, chairman of the Stephen Stiller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden both plan to attend the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania.

“Military leaders will conduct the Pentagon’s ceremony without victims’ families in attendance, and their loved ones’ names will be recited by a recording, rather than readers on-site. Victims’ relatives can visit the Pentagon’s memorial in small groups later Friday,” reports The Associated Press.

In New York, the cherished Tribute in Light—the double beams of light that illuminate where the twin towers once stood—was nearly cancelled due coronavirus concerns before Governor Andrew Cuomo stepped in to guarantee the support of the light instillation.

“NYS will provide health personnel & supervision so that @Sept11Memorial can mount the Tribute in Light safely. I am glad that we can continue this powerful tribute to those we lost on 9/11 and to the heroism of all New Yorkers. We will #NeverForget,” he tweeted on August 15.


  • Flight 93 memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania soon after the September 11, 2001 plane crash. (Library of Congress)
  • A member of the U.S. Army Old Guard stands on the grounds of the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, 2019. (Patrick Semansky /AP Photo)
  • A woman places flowers in the inscribed names along the edge of the North Pool during memorial observances on the 13th anniversary of 9/11. (Justin Lane/AP Photo)
  • New York City firefighters salute in front of a memorial on the side of a firehouse adjacent to One World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial site, 2018. (Craig Ruttle/AP Photo)
  • A photograph of fallen firefighter Leon Smith, Jr. is held up during a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. (Mark Lennihan/AP Photo)
  • The Tribute in Light illuminates the sky above the Lower Manhattan area of New York City, 2017. (Jason DeCrow/AP Photo)
  • Burning World Trade Center towers depicted as two columns of the repeated word "unreal," during the September 11th terrorist attack on New York City. (Andrea Arroyo/Library of Congress)