The Slatest

Empire State Building Siren Light Evokes a City Under Siege

This week, Americans braced for more restrictive lockdown measures across the U.S. as the death toll ticked higher, toward 3,000, and public health officials warned the number of American deaths due to the coronavirus could reach as high as 200,000. On Monday, in New York, the epicenter of the American outbreak, the Empire State Building began a light display resembling a flashing siren light as a salute to first responders on the front lines of the fight against the virus. “Starting tonight through the COVID-19 battle, our signature white lights will be replaced by the heartbeat of America with a white and red siren in the mast for heroic emergency workers on the front line of the fight,” the building’s official Twitter account announced.

The display is set to occur each evening at 9 p.m., according to the Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the building. “The Empire State Building is an international symbol of dreams and struggles overcome,” the head of the 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.”

The siren light, however, also sent another perhaps equally appropriate message to many people: a city under siege.

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