Empire State Building Lights Up Red to Recognize First Responders

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The Empire State Building has turned all the colors of the rainbow for many occasions but when it turned into a blaring red beacon on Monday night, the message was clear: New York is under the state of emergency.

The building's owner, Empire State Realty Trust, says the tower of the iconic New York City landmark will turn red each night and spin to pay tribute to all the heroes on the frontline of the coronavirus epidemic.

New York City had quickly become the nation's epicenter of the coronavirus after its first case was detected on March 1. By March 30, 1,342 people in the state had died from COVID-19.

“The Empire State Building is an international symbol of dreams and struggles overcome,” Anthony E. Malkin, Chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, said in a statement. “Tonight, and every night in this struggle, she is a beacon to remind us we are all in this together, and we will come out of this together.”

Every night at 9 p.m., the Empire State Building's lights will continue to sync to a broadcast Alicia Keys’ "Empire State of Mind," the trust said.

New Yorkers immediately took to social media to shared their videos of the red lights.

Some say the tribute to first responders and health care workers is a nice gesture and some found giant emergency signal eerie. Others had mixed feelings, as one person puts it: "Can't decide if the 'Red Alert' is gorgeous or terrifying."

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