9/11 remembrance events make sizable adjustments to fit in a pandemic-stricken world
A variety of changes are being made to Sept. 11 remembrance ceremonies this year because of the pandemic, with the FDNY encouraged to avoid participating.
For the 19th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, the commissioner of FDNY is recommending his firefighters skip the ceremonies because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"To hear the guy that leads you say I don't want you at a 9/11 event, it hits home," says Michael O'Connell, a 9/11 first responder.
O'Connell says it is important that first responders stay healthy, but thinks his fellow firefighters can attend safely.
Fellow first responder John Feal started the organization behind the Responders Remembered Park in Nesconset.
"This is the FDNY, these are people that are trained and smart enough to know to socially distance and wear masks. These are the men and women in uniform that came to the aid of the towers when they came down," says Feal.
Feal still plans to hold his event on Sept. 12, but another ceremony that usually takes place in Manhattan is going virtual.
Frank Siller says you can register online with Tunnel to Towers Foundation for the virtual 5K run and walk in honor of his brother, 9/11 first responder Stephen Siller.
"You create your own virtual run, you go in your own community, you run from a firehouse to a police station," says Frank Siller.
His foundation will still be holding an in-person event in the city as well, at which they will read the names of those who died on 9/11.
Officials say that there will be strict guidelines for anyone participating in 9/11 events including social distancing, mask regulation and a maximum of 50 people per event.