Can you believe that next year, it will be 20 years since 19 terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes – two of them out of Logan International – and carried out the most inconceivable suicide attacks against the American people? Almost 3,000 people were killed.

For the first anniversary of the attacks in New York City in 2002, two brilliant columns of light jutted up into the sky from where the Twin Towers once stood. The "Tribute in Light" then became an annual installation run by the Municipal Art Society of New York. You can be 60 miles away and still see the lights.

A competition was held to select an appropriate permanent memorial to the innocent people killed. Part of the memorial consists of two reflecting pools with waterfalls rushing down where the Twin Towers once rose into the sky. The names of all 2,983 men, women and children killed are engraved on 152 bronze panels surrounding the pools, and each year the names of the deceased are read aloud.

Amid COVID-19 concerns, the iconic 9/11 "Tribute in Light" memorial lighting and the reading of the names at the annual Ground Zero ceremony have been canceled. The light display, according to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, requires a large crew of about 40 to put on view and the COVID-19 health risks were far too great. Both acknowledgments could be pulled off with proper social distancing, so this is malarkey and the decision to strike down the magnification is a terrible mistake.

On the other hand, I extend my personal praise to The Tunnel to Towers Foundation, who announced its own ceremony where family members of 9/11 casualties will be permitted to read the name of their loved ones. We may not see the twin beams, but a citywide alternative has organized many city skyscrapers to light their spires, pinnacles and steeples in blue to honor all those killed on September 11, 2001.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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