A beautiful sight emerged over the skies of New York City the day the world stopped to remember a darker time in history.
On Monday’s 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, residents of New York City started the day as they’ve done every year with tributes, memorials and the general feeling of heaviness that comes with a somber anniversary. The afternoon sky filled with dark clouds and storms over New York City on Sept. 11, 2023, which fit the day’s mood. However, a symbol of hope for the day emerged out of the gloomy skies: a double rainbow.
It didn’t take long for images of that gorgeous sight to flood social media, including one from photojournalist Gary Hershorn who shared an astounding image.
On the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a rainbow forms in the sky between One World Trade and the Empire State Building in New York City, Monday evening #NewYorkCity #nyc #newyork @empirestatebldg #sunset @agreatbigcity #NeverForget911 pic.twitter.com/HpUkI7B1Kz
— Gary Hershorn (@GaryHershorn) September 11, 2023
Hershorn’s shot captured the double rainbow as it arched over One World Trade Center (to the right of the photo) all the way beyond the Empire State Building (to the left of the photo).
On a day known for its images of destruction and horror, the rainbow’s appearance gave hope to a city remembering one of its darkest days.
The City of New York shared a different perspective of the rainbow on social media.
“The calm and peace after the storm,” the post caption read for the image showing part of the rainbow hanging over a Sept. 11 memorial in Staten Island.
The calm and peace after the storm.
— City of New York (@nycgov) September 11, 2023
On TikTok, Marietta Daviz posted a collage of videos of the rainbows shared by people throughout the afternoon.
@mariettadaviz In a stunning display of symbolism, a rainbow appeared over New York City on the 22nd anniversary of September 11. Social media was flooded with the colorful arc spanning over Manhattan and Ground Zero as everyone was stopped in their tracks to view this beautiful reminder of love. 🌈🙏🏼 #NewYork #September11th #NeverForget #Rainbow ♬ Jacob and the Stone – Emile Mosseri
One of the clips showed city neighborhood residents stopping to look up at the tail end of a rainstorm. Many people are pointing to the sky with looks of wonder and awe. Others have their cameras out. That’s when the video pans to the “beautiful reminder of love” shining above them.
The video starkly contrasted the moments captured by news crews and residents so many years ago of the events as they unfolded.
“What I love about this is how [people] are looking up, just like on that day…but seeing something Magical and hopeful,” commented Aviva Bursten Cohen.