Landmarks around the globe were illuminated with blue lights on Sunday evening in recognition of the ninth annual World Autism Awareness Day.
The “Light It Up Blue” campaign, organized by the advocacy group Autism Speaks, began in 2008 as a means to raise awareness about the prevalence of autism and to encourage autism-friendly events. The month of April is also National Autism Awareness Month.
Landmarks like the Empire State Building and the White House were bathed in blue throughout the evening in support of the cause.
“Together, we celebrate the many ways individuals with ASDs enhance our daily lives and make priceless contributions to our schools, work places and communities,” the White House said in a statement.
The Trump administration announced last week that the White House would turn blue for the evening in part because President Donald Trump promised a founder of Autism Speaks that he’d do so if he won the election. The woman, Suzanne Wright, co-founded the group with her husband Bob in 2005.
She died last year.
“He said, ‘If I’m elected president, in supporting this cause that you care so deeply about, I will light the White House blue,’” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a press briefing. “So it is in Suzanne and Bob Wright’s honor that this will occur for this great cause.”