19th Anniversary of 9/11 in New York City: Schedule of events amid COVID pandemic

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The ceremony at ground zero on Friday, September 11, 2020, marking the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks is taking place with added safety measures mid the coronavirus pandemic -- and there is one major change to the annual event.

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.

This year, however, there is no live reading the of the names. Instead, recorded readings of the names made by 9/11 family members are being used.

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

Organizers said the main focus of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum remains the annual commemoration ceremony, and family members of 9/11 victims are gathering on the Memorial plaza while adhering to state and federal guidelines regarding social distancing and public gatherings.

"The reading of the names is at the heart of our mission at the 9/11 Memorial," officials wrote on the museum's website. "Given the dangerous health risks associated with large gatherings, we put an enormous amount of thought into how we could hold this year's event safely. We are committed to a live commemoration that will be as beautiful and meaningful as ever, while also protecting the health and well-being of families. We can and will do both."

The recordings are part of the museum's In Memoriam exhibition and are being used to ensure that each victim is recognized and remembered.

Related: In memory of Don DiFranco, WABC engineer killed on 9/11

Throughout the ceremony, six moments of silence are being 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 began at 8:30 a.m., and the first moment of silence were observed at 8:46 a.m. Houses of worship were encouraged to toll their bells at that time.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum reopened for 9/11 family members on the 19th anniversary of 9/11 and will reopen to the public on September 12.

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

9/11 Memorial Names: A complete list of the names of the 2,983 victims can be found at 911memorial.org/names-memorial. Explore the names arrangement and learn more about each victim using the Memorial Guide.

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.

Related: Gov. Cuomo says state will provide support for 'Tribute in Light'

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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