9/11 Memorial & Museum
180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007, USA
|⏰ Opening Hours
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
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What is National September 11 Memorial & Museum?
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, often simply referred to as the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, is a solemn and powerful tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which claimed the lives of 2,977 people, and the six victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
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Located at the former site of the Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan, the memorial consists of two reflecting pools set within the footprints of the original towers. The museum, meanwhile, is an underground facility that recounts the events of the attacks through moving exhibits, personal stories, and an extensive collection of artifacts.
It's a place deeply etched in New Yorkers' hearts, serving as a poignant reminder of resilience, unity, and remembrance. A visit here isn't just about seeing a landmark; it’s an emotional experience, one that offers insight into the courage and sacrifice exhibited on one of the darkest days in American history.
History of National September 11 Memorial & Museum
In the aftermath of 9/11, there was a strong consensus that the site should be dedicated to honoring the memory of those who were lost. Following a competition that drew 5,201 submissions from 63 nations, the design by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker titled "Reflecting Absence" was selected in 2004.
Their vision was to create a space that conveyed the void left by the tragedy while offering a place of contemplative sanctuary. The construction of the memorial began in 2006, and it was officially opened to the public on the tenth anniversary of the attacks, September 11, 2011. The adjacent museum opened three years later, on May 21, 2014.
As someone who's seen this area transform over the years, I can tell you the Memorial and Museum have become integral to the city's fabric, turning a place of devastation into a site for reflection and education. They stand as a testament to New York's resilience and to the indelible impact of that fateful day on the world.
Why is National September 11 Memorial & Museum Important?
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum serves as a crucial link between the past and the present. It is a place where individuals from around the globe can come to understand the enormity of the loss, remember the undeniable human impact of the attacks, and reflect on the ripple effects that followed.
Importantly, it is also a center for learning, with the museum offering extensive archives, a collection of oral histories, and in-depth exhibits that educate visitors about the context, implications, and aftermath of the attacks. The site reminds us of our collective vulnerability but also our collective strength in the face of adversity.
For many, including myself, it represents a place of healing. It gives a voice to the victims and their families, ensuring that the stories of heroism and heartache are not lost as time moves forward. It's a place of coming together, an essential piece of New York's, and America's, living history.
Things to Do & See at National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Throughout the visit to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, you will encounter a range of experiences designed to both educate and pay respect. Visitors can roam around the twin reflecting pools, each nearly an acre in size and featuring the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. Names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the pools, inviting a moment of quiet reflection.
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Inside the museum, prepare for an emotionally impactful journey through the narrative of the events. Among the exhibits are remnants of the original World Trade Center, such as the Survivors' Stairs used by many to escape the towers, and the Last Column, which was the final piece of the building removed from the site.
You'll also encounter personal artifacts, multimedia displays, and the poignant "In Memoriam" exhibition, which pays tribute to the individuals who perished. Be sure to allow enough time for the Historical Exhibition, which comprehensively details the day of the attacks, the background leading up to them, and the subsequent consequences.
Outside of the museum and memorial aspects, the site also includes the Survivor Tree, a callery pear tree that was recovered from the rubble and nursed back to health, symbolizing resilience and hope. Additionally, the surrounding area has evolved with new structures and memorials, such as the impressive One World Trade Center and the Oculus, an architecturally striking transportation hub and shopping venue. Just being in this space, among other contemplative visitors, adds another layer to this multifaceted site.