The light show will sync up to Alicia Keys' New York City anthem, "Empire State of Mind"

By Georgia Slater
March 31, 2020 10:42 AM
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Credit: Empire State Building/Twitter

New York City is aiming to be a beacon of hope amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As the world continues to battle COVID-19 — with over 67,174 confirmed cases in New York state alone as of Tuesday, according to the New York Times — the Empire State Building is recognizing those working on the frontlines of the crisis by flashing a red siren on the building.

The tower on top of the skyscraper will flash red each night, similar to an ambulance siren, to symbolize the “heartbeat of America,” according to the building’s Twitter account.

Each night at 9 p.m., the flashing mast — which typically lights up white — will also sync up to Alicia Keys‘ New York City anthem, “Empire State of Mind,” which will simultaneously play on the city’s radio station, Z100.

“The Empire State Building is an international symbol of dreams and struggles overcome,” Anthony E. Malkin, chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, the building’s owner, told NBC News.

“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,” Malkin added.

While the light show is to be viewed by everyone in the city, the sentiment aims to honor the “heroic emergency workers on the front line of the fight.”

“We will never stop shining for you,” the skyscraper’s account tweeted Monday, the first night of the spectacle.

Earlier that day, the United States Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, arrived at the city’s shore to assist with relief efforts.

The ship has 12 fully-equipped operating rooms, a 1,000 bed hospital facility, digital radiological services, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, a CAT-scan and two oxygen producing plants, according to the Navy.

The U.S. now has the highest number of cases worldwide by a large margin.

The CDC says that the best prevention methods, other than social distancing, are basic forms of hygiene — careful handwashing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.