9/11 in NYC: Families return for live reading of victims' names

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The ceremony at ground zero on Saturday, September 11, 2021, will mark 20 years since the 9/11 terror attacks, and despite the ongoing pandemic, this year's event will more resemble years past.

The big change last year was that the reading of the victims' names was prerecorded, but families are once again invited to participate live.

The Tribute in Light will also shine over Lower Manhattan that night.

CLICK HERE for Eyewitness News reflections, photos and stories marking the anniversary of 9/11

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum is observing the anniversary by remembering and honoring the 2,983 men, women and children killed in the attacks at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, aboard Flight 93, and those who died in the February 26, 1993, World Trade Center bombing.

Organizers said the main focus of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum remains the annual commemoration ceremony, and family members of 9/11 victims will once again gather on the Memorial plaza.

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On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we hear from the Eyewitness News journalists who were there, in the streets, in the air, and in the newsroom, reporting on the events as the tragedy unfolded, capturing the unforgettable video of that day, and risking their lives to tell the world what was happening.


Throughout the ceremony, six moments of silence will be observed, acknowledging when each of the World Trade Center towers was struck and fell, and the times corresponding to the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93.

The program begins at 8:30 a.m., the the first moment of silence observed at 8:46 a.m. Houses of worship are encouraged to toll their bells at that time.

The ceremony will conclude at approximately 12:30 p.m. (this is subject to change).

A preliminary outline of the event program is as follows (details and times subject to change):
-8:39 a.m. - Program begins
-8:46 a.m. - Moment of silence (observance of time AA Flight 11 struck North Tower)
-Families of victims of 2001 and 1993 attacks will begin reading the names.
-9:03 a.m. - Moment of silence (observance of time UA Flight 175 struck South Tower)
-Reading of names continues
-9:37 a.m. - Moment of silence (observance of time AA Flight 77 struck the Pentagon)
-Reading of names continues
-9:59 a.m. - Moment of silence (observance of time of fall of the South Tower)
-Reading of names continues
-10:03 a.m. - Moment of silence (observance of time UA Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania)
-Reading of names continues
-10:28 a.m. - Moment of silence (observance of time of fall of the North Tower)
-Reading of names continues to conclusion
-12:30 p.m. - Program concludes

An honor guard made up of individuals representing the FDNY, NYPD and PAPD will participate in the ceremony.

9/11 Memorial Names: A complete list of the names of the 2,983 victims can be found by CLICKING HERE/. Explore the names arrangement and learn more about each victim using the Memorial Guide.

ALSO READ | In memory of Don DiFranco, WABC engineer killed on 9/11
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WABC-TV engineer Don DiFranco was working at the Channel 7 transmitter site on the 110th floor of the World Trade Center North Tower when terrorists flew a hijacked American Airlines jet into the building on September 11, 2001.


The Tribute in Light, which was previously in doubt for the 19th anniversary, will return for one night as a tribute to all those who were killed on 9/11.

Assembled on the roof of the Battery Parking Garage south of the 9/11 Memorial, the twin beams reach up to four miles into the sky and are comprised of eighty-eight 7,000-watt xenon lightbulbs positioned into two 48-foot squares, echoing the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers.

The installation can also be viewed from a 60-mile radius around Lower Manhattan.

The lights will be on beginning at sunset on September 11 and will fade away at dawn on September 12. There is no formal program.

The lights are best viewed when it is completely dark.

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