George Washington Bridge to be lit up pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Josh Einiger reports from on top of the George Washington Bridge.

The George Washington Bridge is taking on a new look in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The elevator creaks up more than 60 stories above the Hudson. And once there, there aren't enough words to describe the view.

To Mauro Caputi, it's just his office, and where he and about a dozen other Port Authority electricians maintain the lighting on the George Washington Bridge.

Friday, Eyewitness News watched an annual ritual of remembrance.

"I want the families to know they're not alone in this battle," said Chris Bonanno, GWB electrician.

Bonanno started this tradition when his sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a decade ago.

The team decided to wrap the George Washington Bridge's necklace lights with pink gels, lighting up at night to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Each gel is inscribed with the name of a survivor, a patient, or someone who succumbed. Richard Maul handwrites every one.

"I do get hand cramps every now and then," Maul said. "I can't say I know what they're going through, but hopefully a little bit of my heart can go out for them."

High above the upper deck, it takes about two days for Caputi and the team to wrap every light. It's painstaking work, with not one but two rope lines for safety.

The view from up there is simply breathtaking. Especially on a beautiful day. But this affects Friday night's view of the bridge. 156 necklace nights now pink, and it's quite a sight to see.

On the bridge Friday, Diannae Ehler, the director of all bridges and tunnels for the Port Authority attached a gel in the name of her great Aunt Ann, who survived the disease.

"What Chris came up with here is just a small symbol of the ingenuity that Port Authority staff have," Ehler said.

"Everybody knows a friend or a family members who's going through this," Bonanno said.

As for Bonanno's sister, she's been cancer-free for nearly a decade, nearly all the years the bridge has been going pink.

He hopes they can shed light on the importance of early detection and one day even a cure.

Check out Josh Einiger's Facebook live from on top of the bridge:
See the end result with the bridge lit up at night:

Related Topics:
community-eventsbreast cancergeorge washington bridgeNew York City
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