21st Anniversary Commemoration Highlights

  • September 29, 2022
Collage of Remember the Sky photos
Social media snapshots of skies around the world as part of Remember the Sky social media campaign

Earlier this month, we led the country in marking 21 years since September 11, 2001, a day defined by previously unfathomable horror and loss, but also by incredible courage and strength. Family members gathered on the Memorial plaza to remember loved ones killed and those still suffering in the aftermath. Even under the day's dark and dreary skies, a powerful sense of resilience and unity shone through. Here, we look back at some of the anniversary highlights. 

Crisis Response canines at the Museum for Community Day
Crisis Response Canines at Community Day September 10

Community Day
The day before the anniversary, we hosted our annual Community Day — dedicated time for 9/11 and 2/26/1993 family members, family members of those who are sick or who have died from 9/11-related illnesses, rescue and recovery workers, active duty first responders, 9/11 survivors, active duty military and veterans, lower Manhattan residents and business owners, and active and retired flight crew members to experience the Museum together. 

2022 community partners included Crisis Response Canines, the FDNY FoundationFirst Responder’s Children Foundation, and the 9/11 Memorial Trail. The World Trade Center Health Program and Victim Compensation Fund also hosted an in information session.

  • Commemorative bell ringing
  • A young boy traces the makes an impression of a name on the Memorial
  • Family members gather to remember loved ones killed on 9/11
  • The reading of victims' names
  • Family members gather to remember loved ones killed on 9/11
  • NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell (left) at the Memorial
  • Remembrance at the Memorial
  • A child places a flag on the Memorial
  • During the ceremony
  • Family members at the ceremony
  • Flags and flowers on the Memorial
  • Members of the FDNY and NYPD at the ceremony
Photos: Monika Graff, Ben Hider, Jin S. Lee

The Ceremony
Roughly 6,000 family members attended the 21st commemoration ceremony on Sunday, September 11, as well as numerous dignitaries and elected officials. Virtually, more than 8,000 tuned in to the ceremony's live stream from our web site, and almost 24,000 on Facebook. 


Keating Crown at the Anniversary in the Schools recording
2022 Anniversary in the Schools speaker Keating Crown

Anniversary in the Schools
This year's Anniversary in the Schools program — a 35-minute film featuring detailed accounts of 9/11 by first responders from the FDNY and PAPD, a 9/11 survivor, and a 9/11 advocate — reached more than half a million participants across all 50 states, Washington D.C., Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 18 other countries. Those who missed the program can still view it here

Anniversary in the Theatres
We partnered with AMC Theatres on a brand-new initiative complementing the Anniversary in the Schools program. Anniversary in the Theaters offered groups and organizations across the country a special opportunity to host screenings of the program at local AMC Theatres. Approximately 800 guests — including teachers, students, and first responders — attended events in Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York. 

The sky above Citi Field in photo posted by the Mets on 9/11
New York Mets' Remember the Sky Instagram post

Remember the Sky & Remembrance Wall
Once again this year, we invited the public to engage in commemoration online through our Remember the Sky social media campaign. Nearly 75,000 people interacted with the campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, posting photos of skies around the world to symbolize our unity and noting the occasion with the hashtag #neverforget911. Hundreds more submitted personal memories and messages to the Remembrance Wall

Evening of September 11
Our annual public art installation Tribute in Light illuminated the foggy sky from dusk til dawn. Viewable within a 60-mile radius of lower Manhattan, the twin beams of blue light honor those killed and symbolize the city's collective resilience. The presentation of Tribute in Light is made possible in part by support of the Anheuser-Busch Foundation.

As an extension of Tribute in Light, we once again partnered with NYC & Company and buildings throughout the city who lit up their facades and rooftops in sky blue. Participants on the 21st anniversary included the Empire State Building, Bloomberg L.P., the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center, One World Trade Center, The Oculus, Brookfield Place, New York City Hall, RXR Realty buildings, the Helmsley Building, the Bank of America Tower, Barclays Bank U.S. Headquarters, One Vanderbilt, Lincoln Center, Museum of the City of New York, Queens Museum, NY Hall of Science, Queens Borough Hall, Niagara Falls, MTA Long Island Railroad East End Gateway at Penn Station, the H. Carl McCall SUNY Building, Empire State Plaza in Albany, the State Education Building, the Alfred E. Smith State Office Building, the New York State Fairgrounds, Albany International Airport Gateway, the Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex, Luna Park in Coney Island, JFK Air Traffic Control Tower, LGA West Parking Garage Façade, and bridges throughout the state including the Goethals Bridge, Bayonne Bride, Kosciusko Bridge, Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, Fairport Lift Bridge, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge. 

  • Tribute in Light
  • The Empire State Building
  • Bloomberg headquarters
  • Memorial pool
  • Survivor Tree
  • Lincoln Center
Cleaning the Memorial pools
New York Times, September 11

In the News
Local and national press showcased the anniversary commemoration, the ongoing impact of 9/11, and the stories of those killed. Selected coverage included: 

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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Blue flat sandals in plastic bag

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