PHOTOS: 9/11 Tribute in Light through the years

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The annual beams of light that mark the rough footprints of where the twin towers once stood will once again illuminate the New York City skyline.

The Tribute in Light is a visual memorial to those who died on September 11, 2001, and is turned on for every anniversary.

The lights go on at sunset on September 11 and go off at dawn on September 12.

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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.


The beams, coming from 88 searchlights south of the World Trade Center site, were first put in place six months after the attack and are now a yearly tradition.

At full power, the lights can be seen for many miles, depending on the weather.

Check out pictures of the tribute through the years.

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Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett and photographer Marty Glembotzky rushed down to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. While shooting a standup right below the burning towers, the first tower began to collapse.


Each year, New York City and millions around the country commemorate 9/11 with mournful ceremonies, volunteering, appeals to "never forget," and drawing attention to the terror attacks' continued toll on first responders.

Relatives of the victims descend on ground zero in Lower Manhattan, and the events of that terrible day and the weeks, months and years that followed are never forgotten, nor are the memories of those killed by terrorists in hijacked planes.

Additionally, we remember all those who have died from 9/11-related illnesses from their heroic work at ground zero and those who suffer today.

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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.


September 11 still shapes American policy, politics and everyday experiences in places from airports to office buildings, even if it's less of a constant presence in the public consciousness after 20 years.

The 9/11 commemorations are by now familiar rituals, but each year at ground zero, victims' relatives infuse the ceremony with personal messages of remembrance, inspiration and concern.

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

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