World Trade Center Memorial Opens
“It’s going to mean a lot to our family,” one man, who lost a family member, said in an interview with CBS News, “Someplace where we can just sit and reflect on what the day was and what the family misses.”Ten years ago two planes crashed into the World Trade Center buildings killing nearly 3,000 people. To honor the lives lost in this horrific event, a memorial was built in the place of the two twin towers.
The 911 Memorial opened on Sunday, September 11, 2011; 10 years after the attack. It officially opened to the public on September 12, 2011.
The day before the Memorial was open to public, there was a special viewing for the families whose loved ones were lost in the terrorist attacks.
Jim Long, head of the FDNY Press Office says, “I think it is substantial, it is something to remember them by” as he comments on the memorial.
The memorial is surrounded by trees creating a contemplative space separating it from the typical busy, city. The main trees chosen for the memorial were the swamp white oak since, their leaves change color and create a beautiful scene all around during the different seasons. Each tree will never be identical, reminding many that they too, are living individuals. In the center of all the trees are two large pools where the twin towers once stood. Bronze plates inscribed with the victims names, surround the two pools. Families are welcome to walk around and take in the beautiful scenery and be reminded of what the memorial stands for.
Names are arranged into nine groups: World Trade Center (North Pool), Flight 11, February 26, 1993, World Trade Center (South Pool), Flight 175, Pentagon, Flight 77, Flight 93, and First Responders. As families gather around the two large pools to find their loved ones’ names, they all know that their family member has a proper memorial.
“The National September 11 Memorial and Museum is dedicated to building a lasting place for remembrance, reflection and learning – a tribute to the past and a place of hope for the future. It serves a final resting place for thousands of people and gives families of those victims a place to gather when they feel the need to mourn or celebrate a life lived,” Sarah Lippman says while commenting on how the memorial brings the families closer together.
Many of these families know one another. As they find their loved ones’ name they hold each other close.
Debra Burlingame, sister of a victim of one of the crew members states “These are all his crew, I know all their families. These passengers, I knew their families. These people are real people to me.”
The memorial is open to anyone. People can walk around all while meditating and reflecting on what the day was.
To visit the memorial, you must reserve a pass. Passes are free and a specific date and time is required to ensure that the memorial does not become overcrowded. Passes are available online on the official memorial website.
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