arts & culture ·
Published August 28, 2023
Where to View the 9/11 Tribute in Light around New York City
The Tribute in Light will shine from dusk until dawn on the 22nd anniversary of 9/11.
by New York Bucket List
This September marks 22 years since the devastating 9/11 attacks. During that time, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum was created, a new, beautiful One World Trade Center was constructed, and millions of daffodils were planted throughout the city as a living memorial to the victims of 9/11.
Perhaps the most recognizable tribute, however, happens on the anniversary of the attacks, when twin light beams, reflecting the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers, shine high into the night sky. The commemorative art installation, Tribute in Light, first shone six months after the attacks in March 2002 and has continued every year since, on September 11, as a way to both honor those who lost their lives and celebrate the unbreakable spirit of New York.
Starting at dusk and continuing until dawn, the beams will shine four miles into the sky and can be seen from 60 miles away. No matter where you are in the city or surrounding areas, you can likely catch a glimpse of the iconic tribute, but we’ve gathered a few exceptional viewing spots to take it in and pause to remember.
Where to View the Tribute in Light
St. Paul’s Chapel
St. Paul’s stands across the street from the original site of the Twin Towers and has been nicknamed “The Little Chapel That Stood” after it remained intact after the collapse of the World Trade Centers. From here, you can get an up-close view of the Tribute in Light.
Note: The Bell of Hope (a gift from London after the 9/11 attacks) will ring at 8:46 on the morning of September 11, the precise time the first plane hit the North Tower. It’s followed by a traditional fireman’s salute to remember the fallen.
Washington Square Park
A picturesque view of the Twin Towers used to be visible through the Washington Square Arch. Today, it’s a beautiful spot to view the Tribute in Light.
From an Observation Deck
There are many observation decks that offer incredible views of the city. The top deck of the Empire State Building is directly north of the tribute lights and will be lit up in remembrance of 9/11. The outdoor deck at Hudson Yard’s Edge is also a good spot to get clear, unobstructed views of the Tribute in Light.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Across the East River, the beams of light shine high above the Manhattan skyline. Brooklyn Bridge Park is expansive enough to find a quiet spot to take it in.
Brooklyn Heights Promenade
For the past 20 years, the Brooklyn Heights Interfaith Clergy Association has put on a candlelight vigil and memorial along the Promenade. It’s a moving sight and experience and offers beautiful views of the Tribute in Light across the water.
American Veterans Memorial Pier
This monument stands as a reminder of the 283 Brooklyn residents lost on September 11th. From the pier, the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan are visible, offering clear sightlines of the Tribute in Light.
9/11 Tribute Park, Queens
This spot in the Rockaways was once an empty lot where residents of the neighborhood stood and watched the collapse of the Twin Towers. Today, a park commemorates the events of 9/11 and visitors can see the unmistakable beams rising into the sky on the September 11 anniversary.
The Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry offers a stunning view of Manhattan. Seeing the tribute from a distance, reflected on the water, with the Statue of Liberty in view, is a truly unique experience.
Liberty State Park
Opposite Liberty and Ellis Islands, Liberty State Park in New Jersey is a public park where visitors can view the beams from across the Hudson. It’s also home to Endless Sky, a memorial that honors the 749 New Jersey residents who were lost on 9/11.
Eagle Rock Reservation
This 400+ acre park offers skyline views of NYC, where visitors can see the iconic beams commemorating 9/11 from the New Jersey hillside. The park also has a 9/11 memorial and will host a solemn ceremony in remembrance of the events of 9/11.
This year, many landmarks and businesses throughout the city will also light up facades and rooftops in blue as an extension of Tribute in Light. Participants include the Empire State Building, Bloomberg Tower, One World Trade Center, The Oculus, New York City Hall, Bank of America Tower, One Vanderbilt, Queens Museum, and the JFK Air Traffic Control Tower, among others.
No matter where you are on September 11, make sure to take a moment and look up.
Learn more + support at 911memorial.org
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