After the parapets were adorned with the Stars and Stripes, three bagpipers played as American flags were also placed at the Survivor Tree to honor those lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those in the 9/11 community who were severely affected by the health crisis. Michael Bloomberg, the chairman of the board of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Alice Greenwald, president and CEO of the Museum, were joined by Governor Philip Murphy of New Jersey and Mrs. Murphy, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer in procession to the 9/11 Memorial Glade.
"Independence Day is a fitting occasion to re-open the 9/11 Memorial," Bloomberg said. "As we celebrate the revolutionary declaration issued 244 years ago—and the promise of equality for all that we are still working to fulfill—we also honor all who have paid the cost, and borne the burden, of sustaining American freedom. The 9/11 Memorial is a powerful tribute to those we lost, and to the character of our nation. The sense of hope and renewal that we see reflected in the pools is especially important and urgent right now, as the world continues to grapple with the worst public health crisis in a century, and the tremendous hardships and loss of life it has caused. We hope the opening of the Memorial will remind visitors of our capacity to persevere through crisis, unite in common purpose, and come through stronger.”