Earlier today, Tyler O’Neil reported that the 9/11 lights tribute in New York City is canceled. COVID is blamed.
New York has been the site of numerous, very large, protests over the past couple of months.
Mayor Bill de Blasio himself went out and painted the street with a political message along with a bunch of bunched-up people, in the middle of the pandemic. De Blasio is the tall galoot in the orange mask in the center of the frame.
We’ve all seen that photo of de mayor’s paint-rolling trolling. A wider shot reveals the renovation crew was much larger.
I counted about twenty people, none properly socially distanced, painting the street outside Trump Tower, centered on de Blasio.
Yes, this is relevant.
The 9/11 lights are supposedly canceled because it takes about 30 people to make them happen. That’s an excuse, not a reason. Those folks can be socially distanced. They have several weeks from now to game it out if they need to. There is real construction going on in New York and every other city around. The NBA is even playing, despite no one watching or caring about it.
This country put men on the moon. We can light up some lights in tribute to those lost on a terrible day we pledged to remember forever.
But the event is just canceled, signaling that “Never Forget” lasted 19 years, and did not outlast the tenure of the worst mayor in New York history. I’ve watched the video Tyler posted of what it takes to turn the lights on. If staffing the thing is the problem, I’ll go. Should I post a GoFundMe?
Staffing is not the problem. Leadership is the problem.
Some New Yorkers (none named either Warren Wilhelm or Bill de Blasio) have written a letter to one Donald J. Trump. The letter seeks his leadership to make the lights shine over New York again.
Elected leaders and unions representing New York’s first responders criticized the decision to suspend the Tribute in Lights, with one group declaring plans to facilitate the light display themselves and another threatening actions if the decision is not reversed.
A collective of 10 New York City Council members drafted and signed a letter to President Donald Trump asking for federal intervention to save the annual light display. In their letter, the council members ask the president to “find a creative way for a federal agency or branch of the armed forces to help save” the Tribute in Light remembrance.
Update # 2 – we have formed a small group of bipartisan council members who are asking President Trump to support the effort to present the Tribute in Lights. Hopefully with this effort, and with our labor friends, we can deliver the manpower and the machines. pic.twitter.com/O2Yrdx8Ng6
— Joe Borelli (@JoeBorelliNYC) August 14, 2020
This bipartisan, multi-racial group wants one thing: to see the 9/11 lights. They know Mayor de Blasio, who probably called the lights off behind the scenes, will be no help. It offers him no one to troll.
You know who else they didn’t bother to ask?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
They needed leadership, so they turned to a real leader.
Pause to ponder the optics of all this.
What if Donald Trump steps in and saves the 9/11 lights?
UPDATE: The Tunnel to Towers Foundation says it is “doing everything in its power” to make sure the lights shine. They posted this graphic.
It sounds like the cancellation was not their decision. It also sounds like the backlash has been both swift and fierce, and is very likely to be reversed, as it should be.