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Tribute brings light to cityʼs darkest day

Tribute in Light, the iconic symbol that honors those killed on 9/11 and celebrates the spirit of New Yorkers, will light tonight as the city remembers the atrocity that struck 18 years ago.

The commemorative public art installation was first presented six months after 9/11 and has appeared every year thereafter, from dusk to dawn, on the night of September 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 88 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs positioned into two 48-foot squares, echoing the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers.

The installation can be seen from a 60-mile radius around lower Manhattan.

Tribute in Light was conceived by several artists and designers who were then brought together under the auspices of the Municipal Art Society and Creative Time: John Bennett, Gustavo Boneverdi, Richard Nash Gould, Julian LaVerdiere, and Paul Myoda, with lighting consultant Paul Marantz.

The lights — which are turned off every 20 minutes to free migrating birds distracted by the beams — are fueled with biodiesel made from used cooking oil collected from local restaurants and provided by Tri-State Biodiesel. It costs around $1,626 to run them for 24 hours.

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