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Special Section

REMEMBERING 9-11: National September 11 Memorial & Museum

REMEMBERING 9-11: National September 11 Memorial & Museum
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September 7, 2011
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Aftermath of 9/11

The attacks of 9/11 left the World Trade

Center (WTC) site devastated, with ruins

towering roughly 17 stories and debris

spread well beyond the 16-acre site. Thousands

of volunteers flocked to ground

zero to help with the rescue, recovery and

clean-up efforts, and on May 30, 2002, the

last piece of WTC steel was ceremonially


Memorials sprung up immediately after

the tragedy and acted as impromptu

outlets for grief, support, healing, and

remembrance. These memorials appeared

around the world in myriad forms in the

days and weeks following the attacks.

Within the first two years following the

attacks, plans integrating a museum,

memorial, and commercial buildings were

proposed and advanced. The first commercial

building to re-open, the new 7

WTC, was completed in 2006.

The Memorial & Museum

The Memorial and Museum are both

located on the western side of the former

World Trade Center complex where the

Twin Towers once stood. The Memorial

was designed by architect Michael Arad

and landscape architect Peter Walker. Their

proposal emerged from a design competition

that received 5,201 submissions from

63 countries.

The National September 11 Memorial

opens on September 11, 2011, the 10th

anniversary of the attacks, and the Museum

will open in 2012.

9/11 Memorial Design

The Memorial remembers and honors the

nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks

of September 11, 2001--in New York,

at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania--as

well as the victims of the February 26,

1993 bombing at the World Trade Center.

Its mission is to:

• Remember and honor the thousands

of innocent men, women, and children

murdered by terrorists in these attacks.

• Respect this place made sacred

through tragic loss.

• Recognize the endurance of those who

survived, the courage of those who

risked their lives to save others, and the

compassion of all who supported us in

our darkest hours.

May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized,

and the spirit reawakened be eternal

beacons, which reaffirm respect for life,

strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom,

and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and


Joe Daniels, President of the National September

11 Memorial & Museum, adds:

“Collectively, the Memorial & Museum will

remind us of the powerful and binding

connection we share with one another.

A connection that eclipses politics, race,

economic class, and geography.”

Each element of the Memorial design

exists in service of these goals. A plaza of

over 400 trees surrounds two enormous

reflecting pools with waterfalls set within

the footprints where the Twin Towers once

stood. The waterfalls--the largest manmade

waterfalls in North America--cascade

into reflecting pools, finally disappearing

into voids built into the center of

each pool.

The names of the 2,983 victims of the

September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993

attacks are etched in bronze around the

edges of the pools.

The tree-filled plaza is lined with cobblestones,

creating a space for reflection separate

from the sights and sounds of the

surrounding city. The trees were selected

from within a 500-mile radius of the WTC

site, including nurseries located in New

York, Pennsylvania, and near Washington,

D.C., to symbolize areas attacked on 9/11.

Now, instead of looking up at the towers,

visitors look down in reflection. It is a

different kind of looking, inviting us to appreciate

the power of what isn’t there, the

power of remembering what is absent.

National September 11 Memorial


The Memorial Museum, like the Memorial,

aims to honor the victims of these attacks

and all those who risked their lives to save

others. It further recognizes the thousands

who survived and all who demonstrated

extraordinary compassion in the aftermath.

In doing so, it seeks to educate for a better

future. Demonstrating the consequences

of terrorism on individual lives and its impact

on communities at the local, national,

and international levels, the Museum

attests to the triumph of human dignity

over human depravity and affirms an

unwavering commitment to the fundamental

value of human life.

This work is complex, as Alice Greenwald,

the Museum’s director, has noted: “At its

core, the Memorial Museum must care-fully balance the act of commemoration

- which has its own requirements of sensibility

and reverence - with the imperatives of

education, historical documentation, and

fidelity to the emotionally resonant artifacts

on display.”

Visitors will enter the Memorial Museum

through a Pavilion where two steel “tridents”--

remnants of the North Tower’s

façade--stand in the building’s atrium. The

main exhibition space will be located seven

stories down at the bedrock foundations of

the World Trade Center.

The Museum will offer displays of artifacts

from the WTC and 9/11 attacks, interactive

exhibitions, contemplative areas, and

programs that will convey individual and

collective stories relating the experiences

of survivors, responders, area residents, and

eyewitnesses. A memorial exhibition will

honor the individual victims of the attacks,

featuring artifacts, photographs, and oral

remembrances recalling the people killed

on 9/11.

In addition, educational programs, such as

field trips, lecture series, and film screenings,

will offer deeper explorations into the events

of 9/11, its historical context, the ongoing repercussions

of the attacks, and the 9/11 Museum’s

collections. Visit www.911memorial.

org/teach-learn to view current resources for

schools and families.

Around the Memorial

On the rest of the WTC site and next to the

Memorial and Museum will be commercial

buildings, a transportation hub, and a Performing

Arts Center. One of these buildings

has already been completed and two are

under construction. 1 WTC, the building

directly north of the North Pool, will have

105 stories and stand taller at 1,776 feet

than the original Twin Towers. This building

is expected to be completed in 2013. The

other buildings will be developed in the

coming years.

Visiting the Memorial

When the 9/11 Memorial opens, construction

will still be continuing at the WTC site.

Millions of visitors are expected in the first

year of operation and plans are in place to

ensure that the visitor experience is safe and


During much of the ongoing construction,

visitor capacity at the 9/11 Memorial will

be limited. To ensure fairness and a wide

distribution of visitor passes, a temporary

timed reservation system will be used for

all visitors. The reservation system will help

reduce potential wait times and ensure as

many people as possible are able to visit. The

passes will be free. For more information,


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