More than 7,000 buildings, landmarks and iconic structures across the globe were bathed in serene blue light last night in a nod to the sixth annual World Autism Awareness Day.
Organized by the non-profit Autism Speaks, the "Light it Up Blue" campaign boasted participants in 90 countries, all coming together to shine a light on autism, a spectrum of disorders that affects 1 in 50 children in the US alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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The Empire State Building and George Washington Bridge in New York City, Niagara Falls in Canada and Burj Al Arab in Dubai were all illuminated in solidarity, as were individual homes, retailers and major corporations around the world.
With heightened awareness comes funding: Also yesterday, President Obama announced a new brain-mapping initiative in hopes of finding cures for autism, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Obama asked Congress to allocate $100 million of next year’s budget on the project.
Here are a few of the more stunning landmarks, lit up in blue last night for autism awareness:
Burj Al Arab: One of the world's most luxurious hotels, this wonder was a beacon of blue on top of a man-made island in Dubai (courtesy @BurjAlArab)
The Sydney Opera House went blue down under. (courtesy @AutismAwareAus)
Even Niagra Falls – typically blue on an ordinary day – fell in line (courtesy of @hesterwm)